I am Studying phonological processes on my own now. Need help with some basic stuff:

What do the bold parts mean?

1- Cvoiceless →voiced

2- /u/→[ʊ] / __

for (1) __VCvoiceless = does this mean when there is a vowel followed by a Voiceless consonant?

for (2) what does __Cɪ mean?


Does #__CC mean consonant cluster?

Feel free to be a bit wordy but keep things simple as I have just began learning.

  • 1
    Where did you see these? Please provide the source.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 29 '21 at 2:11
  • 1
    The notation is known as SPE-notation, SPE-type notation, or SPE-style notation, where SPE stands for a famous work, "The sound patterns of English" by Chomsky and Halle. Oct 29 '21 at 10:48

It is hard to say because this is a very non-standard way of writing rules. My guess is that they mean "voiceless consonant" when they say "Cvoiceless"; and "Cɪ" means "C ɪ" where "C" is an abbreviation for "Any consonant" and "ɪ" is a high front lax vowel – thus "when followed by a consonant which is followed by a high front lax vowel".

"#__CC" is only meaningful as part of a rule, and literally means "when it is at the beginning of a word, and is followed by two consonants" (which, as it happens, are a "consonant cluster"). It depends what the "X→Y" part of the rule says, for example "i→ɪ" as the rest of the rule would mean "i becomes lax if it is at the beginning of a word and is followed by two consonants". But if the change part of the rule says "V→Ø" then that would mean "delete a vowel at the beginning of a word when....", and "Ø→i" would mean "insert i at the beginning of the word, when...".

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