3

I'm not sure if this is a legitimate question to ask,but I noticed this sound change in a few germanic languages, such as Old English and German. How did it happen?

1
  • 1
    It's happened in Norwegian etc as well, but only in certain phonemic contexts – OmarL Mar 5 '19 at 15:57
6

This is one form of palatalization, a very common process across languages.

Typically, /k/ fronts and spirantizes to /ç/. In isolation it often goes further, to /tʃ/, but after /s/, /sç/ may coalesce to /ʃ/.

Consider, in particular, Italian, where an original Latin 'c' (/k/) before a front vowel has usually become /tʃ/ ('ci'), but after 's' it has become /ʃ/ ('sci').

1
  • 2
    An interesting case is Venetian, where some words that in Italian have retained /sk/ have /stʃ/ instead, like s'ciao /stʃao/, Italian schiavo /skjavo/ 'servant, slave' from which the salutation ciao /tʃao/ (originally 'I am your servant'='at your service') – Denis Nardin Mar 5 '19 at 21:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.