I am studying emerging Brazilian Portuguese consonant clusters and I'm unaware of how to properly call a group of positions such as "word-initial" or "word-final position". The aim is to use this term as an explanatory variable. I've thought about "segmental position" or "grammatical environment" but I'm still unsure about their appropriateness.

  • I guess "(consonant) phonotactics" is too broad a term for what you want? – Gaston Ümlaut Feb 2 '20 at 20:58

I've heard "phonological environment" for this sort of thing: it covers not just "word-initial" and "word-final" but also "between vowels", "word-final after back vowels", and so on.


Late answer but I hope it helps.

For positions within a syllable, you may want to use "prevocalic" for describing /p/ in pat and "postvocalic" for describing /t/ in pat.

Though when it comes to deletion processes, there are some well established terms such as:

apocope: describes the deletion of the final phoneme in a word. aphaeresis: describes the deletion of the initial phoneme in a word. syncope: describes the deletion of the phoneme in word-medial position.

  • 1
    That's not the question. – Nardog Mar 3 '20 at 13:29

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