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Questions tagged [consonants]

a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract.

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2answers
1k views

Non-African Click Languages

Paralinguistic clicks are quite common across world's languages. But paralinguistic clicks usually appears as ideophones. But why is Africa the only continent that uses click consonants? Are there any ...
3
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3answers
112 views

Australia - absence of sibilants

Are there any sciencific/linguistic/historical theories about reasons of absence of sibilants in some Australian languages? As far as I know, sibilants are common accross world languages. Since ...
7
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3answers
159 views

Why isn't intervocalic /ŋ/ analyzed as an onset in English?

I think that sɪ.ŋɪŋ does not seem too unreasonable as a syllabification of the word singing, so I'm a bit puzzled why that option for the syllabification of intervocalic /ŋ/ seems to be dismissed in ...
-6
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1answer
152 views

The German consonant “c” changes to the English “g”

What is the name of a sound shift law under which the German consonant "c" changes to the English "g", e.g. Macht -> might; Nacht -> night; Tochter -> daughter; fechten -> fight; recht -> right; ...
1
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4answers
149 views

Cause: [z] --> [s] at the end

Someone said that there is a sound beginning [z], turning into [s] at the end of words like cause. Maybe, this is just a recommendation on how to pronounce English consonants correctly, but if it is ...
1
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1answer
156 views

How to do the Xhosa clicks

So this video explains clearly how to do the 3 Xhosa clicks at the same time as each vowel sound. The Wikipedia page also shows clearly how to produce those 3 clicks as well, independent of any vowel ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Good audio resources for the ejective consonants

I think I understand the ejective consonants, but even after listening to the Wikipedia audio clips, I am not sure I would be able to distinguish them from the corresponding "regular" consonant, like ...
6
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2answers
112 views

Dataset/Database similar to WALS in Vowel/Phonology

I am wondering if there is any database similar to The World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)(https://wals.info/). In the case that it is specifically more geared towards phonological aspects of ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Vowel Change in Europe Book

Perhaps a rogue question but my father loves languages and when on holiday in Holland was trying to tell me about the two vowel (or constant? Shifts) changes that occured, and so why English and ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Are alveolar stops really alveolar stops?

I noted that to make the sound the sides of the tongue make an occlusion in the laterals, this would mean the point of greatest constriction isn't just in the alveolar ridge.
0
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1answer
61 views

If a syllabic consonant can be a plosive

Wondering if a Syllabic Consonant can be a plosive such as t or p. Maybe Nuxalk has this feature, I don't know. Basically if you would say something like /p't'p't'/ (where ' is for explosive), ...
5
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5answers
1k views

The difference between a regular consonant and a syllabic consonant

Trying to understand the difference between regular consonants and Syllabic Consonants. Two examples are from Danish. [ð̩] skinnede [l̩] solen To start (for some context), the way I would naturally ...
1
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1answer
58 views

How to annotate “popping” vs. non-popping sounds of sequential consonants

How to write (orthography) words in a distinct way to capture the essence of these pronunciations (I'll try to use IPA but probably will do it wrong so adding another variation). hip /hɪp/ hipo /hɪpo/...
3
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2answers
457 views

Why r, h, and w aren't vowels

The r sound I can create (a) without moving my tongue (after it is put into place), and (b), without closing the mouth cavity entirely. Like rrrr.... To me then it seems like a vowel. For h, it is ...
0
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2answers
141 views

The breakdown of the word “strength” or “cheap” or “sheep”

So it turns out that sometimes consonants in a sequence can be called single consonants (e.g. d͡z), or consonant "clusters". But the main reason for calling d͡z a single consonant is because it "...
0
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1answer
35 views

Audio library for all IPA vowels and consonants

Wikipedia has a pretty good intro to the IPA sounds, even some of the "click" sounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel_chart_with_audio https://en....
2
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4answers
194 views

Why d͡z is not considered two consonants

Wondering why d͡z is not considered two consonants. Same with p͡f, t͡s, etc.
6
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1answer
101 views

Is there a universal basis for consonants vs vowels?

Is this unique to certain families of language or all verbal human language?
1
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1answer
129 views

Why do most Austronesian and Polynesian languages have low consonant vowel ratio?

Refer: WALS feature 3A A simple Google search yielded - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5529419/ which could be one of the reasons. But can anyone come up with some other reasons maybe ...
3
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0answers
149 views

Any online recording of [ʀ̆]?

Strangely, the the Wikipedia page doesn't contain any recording for it (usually it has a recording for each consonant or vowel). Background: I'm a native Hebrew speaker who's interested in ...
3
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1answer
87 views

What does '# of Cs' mean?

The symbol # refers to the word boundary, which is the beginning and the ending of a word. So does the phrase # of Cs mean that a consonant is the first or last letter in a word? The whole ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Are there any fricatives pronounced behind the tonsils?

I have noticed that I have the ability, like all, to force air out of the little places behind the tonsils, and I was curious if this is an actual articulation? I don't know what part of the mouth, or ...
8
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6answers
3k views

Is there a voiced-unvoiced pair for R or L in any language?

Voiced and unvoiced consonant pairs exist for /z/ and /s/, /g/ and /k/, /b/ and /p/, and many others. But I've never heard it for /ɹ/ or /l/. I think it's totally possible to use the vocal cords for ...
2
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1answer
557 views

When did the sounds of 'w' and 'v' change in High German?

As far as I know, the sound 'w' is always pronounced as 'v', and 'v' as 'f' in German words, relative to their cognate English words. So my questions, why did these sounds shift, and when? As far as I ...
15
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2answers
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What is the function of the soft sign (Ь) in Russian?

After some searching, I'm still unsure about what function the soft sign (Ь) performs in Russian. I have read that it indicates declension, palatisation, and iotation in different contexts, but with ...
1
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3answers
330 views

What's up with the letter W?

English is an interesting and incestuous mangling of stuff. I sometimes think about W and it is a pretty interesting letter with much mystery and intrigue. In French, oui begins with a W sound, yet ...
2
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2answers
524 views

Advice on voiced and unvoiced in sanskrit sounds

I am trying to learn Sanskrit alphabets, and want to see how I can pronounce the consonants. Then I noticed that when pronouncing the consonants, which are voiced and unvoiced, my vocal chords are ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Consonant symbol representation for /o̯/?

Specifically, what's the consonant symbol equivalent for the glide/semivowel /o̯/, like how /i̯/ is equivalent to /j/?
6
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1answer
2k views

What are the differences between palatal consonant and palatalized consonant?

In IPA chart, there is a column named "palatal consonants", including consonants as ɲ, c, ɟ, ç, ʝ, ʎ for example. There is also a 'palatalization sign': ʲ, which can be applied to all consonants, used,...
4
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1answer
90 views

Term for consonant elision

What's the name for the elision of a consonant between two vowels? Syncope is usually used for vowel elision (resulting in consonant clusters) but what about consonant elision? I couldn't find any ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Is [ǀ], or ⟨tsk!⟩ a word in English?

When an English speaker uses a dental click [ǀ] to express shame or pity (or in Spanish as a sign of confusion), is that a word? What is the linguistic term for it? PS: I wondered about this after ...
0
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1answer
86 views

How to identify the English \t\ consonant in sound recordings?

I am trying to recognize the consonants in a word i.e. if the word spoken is tap, using different tools like Praat or MATLAB etc. I want to implement a system to ensure that the first letter spoken ...
3
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1answer
620 views

The soft Spanish “t” (other languages are available)

Recently I have noticed that some languages have a sound which is somewhere between the "traditional" d and t. An example of this is the name "Roberto", pronounced by a Spanish or Italian speaking ...
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1answer
14k views

What are “hard” and “soft” consonants?

Many writing systems make a distinction between "hard" and "soft" phonemes represented by the same grapheme or an accented version thereof. What writing systems make this distinction and what are the ...
2
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4answers
2k views

How unusual is the English J sound?

I came to my attention that the English "J" sound ( jet, joy, jump ) does not seem to exist in German, French, Spanish, or Finnish. While the "ch" sound exists in many of these languages, the "j" ...
5
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2answers
390 views

Can a vowel be a consonant?

So, I know there are certain consonants in the IPA that have vowel-like properties, and can therefor be used as vowels, such as [n], [m], and [l]. Examples include [pnt], or [ʒlf]. So, in the loosest ...
2
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0answers
272 views

Uvular Fricative Trill vs Uvular Fricative vs Preüvular Fricative

I'm having trouble differentiating the uvular trill, uvular, and preüvular fricatives. While I understand that the preüvular variant is more fronted, it sounds to me like many acclaimed uvular ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Is the sound “w” a velar or a bilabial consonant?

I am a bit confused about how to classify the sound "w" in English. In some books I find that it's a bilabial and in some others that it is a velar! What is right? Can it be both? In fact yes the ...
5
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2answers
236 views

Detailed “quality” of /ð/

I've been learning and using English since I was 10. I have always been more or less aware of the /θ/ sound, but it wasn't until I got interested in IPA notation, when I realized English contrasts /ð/ ...
3
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2answers
253 views

What's the reason behind the “silent n”?

My impression is that the concept of a silent "n" is quite common in many different languages/linguistic families . What is the reason that the "silent n" is so common in language as opposed to other ...
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2answers
206 views

Why might consonants have been thought of, as sounds only produced together with vowels?

consonant (n.) [←] [...] from Latin [...] from com- "with" (see com-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Consonants were thought of as sounds that are only produced together with vowels. Is last ...
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1answer
535 views

Palatalised allophones of /k/ and /g/ as a cross-linguistic phenomenon

As a native speaker of Russian, where [k]/[kʲ] and [g]/[gʲ] are phonemically distinct, I've always been intrigued by the fact that several languages that don't have that distinction, and are in fact ...
1
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0answers
304 views

Modifications of consonants

Could you help me to figure out one thing? My task is to comment on the modifications of consonants by the neighbouring sounds(assimilation,ellision). But there are some words in the task where I don'...
5
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1answer
185 views

Cross-linguistically, how do syllabic consonants interact with morae?

I've read a bit about the moraic system found in Japanese, but as there isn't much complexity in the case of its syllabic consonants, I am left with a few questions. 1) Are there any natural ...
0
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2answers
588 views

Sandhi [English]

I am wondering if the rule that dictates when to use "an" or "a" in sentences is Sandhi? If not, what is it? I'm trying to explain why we use "an" or "a" in English beyond the "An is for vowels, A is ...
4
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2answers
304 views

Other than Scottish rolled “r” and North American rhotacised vowels, are there any differences across “r” sounds in English dialects?

I'm wondering about subtle differences in /r/ sounds across varieties of English. By subtle I mean I want to ignore the obvious large differences such as the trilled "r" in Scottish English and the ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Can a stop be both voiced and aspirated?

One day while discussing things with my friends, we came across the topic of trying to pronounce the sound [gh]. No such symbol actually exists in the IPA to my knowledge, but hypothetically it would ...
2
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2answers
706 views

Examples of discrete place-of-articulation changes

Most sound changes that involve consonantal place of articulation are gradual changes between two POAs that are contiguous: for example, a velar gets gradually fronted until it becomes a palatal. What ...
3
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4answers
687 views

Are there languages with consonant clusters that include consonants that never occur alone?

In the languages I know more about I can't think of any cases of consonant phoneme clusters that are not made up entirely of consonant phonemes which also occur on their own in the language. But I'm ...
3
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1answer
150 views

Consonantal innovations in Hungarian

The Hungarian language seems to have many phonetic features uncommon in other Uralic languages- for example, phonemic voicing in its stops and sibilants and the presence of a labiodental fricative /f/....