I apologize for how this question may be perceived. I am casually learning linguistics with no curriculum. I can understand that this question may have many possible answers, but I am not quite sure how else to ask this question. I can also understand if all that may be provided to me is some resource on lists of natural ways languages evolve.

Basically, I've come up with two place names, "Yallet" and "Helverly". I'm trying to create enough of a naming language that would allow me to create names that seem to occur naturally in the setting.

Both Yallet and Helverly are locations, and so I was wondering if there was a way for the root "let", meaning town, to conceivably evolve to "ly".

Can this evolution happen naturally? If so, I would happily read on such transformations. If not, I would be very appreciative of an explanation as to why it would not be a natural evolution.

  • 6
    I suggest asking this question on Constructed Languages May 8, 2019 at 12:16
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on conlang.SE Why can't it be migrated there?
    – Lorraine
    May 13, 2019 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


Since you're asking on Linguistics instead of Constructed Languages, here's a real-world example!

Look at Ancient Greek (Attic/Koine dialect) τείν-ει /tiːn-iː/ "she spreads", next to Latin ten-et /tɛn-ɛt/ "she holds" (from the same PIE root).

The original vowel in the ending was /eː/; Latin shortened it to /e/ before final /t/, and it later became /ɛ/. Greek, on the other hand, dropped all final /t/s, and raised /eː/ to /iː/ as part of a chain shift.

P.S. The difference in the first vowel is because they're from different forms of the same PIE root; it's not relevant to the sound change I'm talking about.

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