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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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Is [ʍ] a fricative or approximant?

Is [ʍ] a fricative or approximant? I need a definitive answer to this. Some say it's a fricative, some say it's an approximant, some say it's both, but what's the truth?
thesmartwaterbear's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
558 views

What is the difference between [ɚ], [ɝ], [ɹ̩], and [ɻ̍]?

So, [ɚ] is a rhotacized schwa/mid central vowel/schwar, [ɝ] is a rhotacized open-mid central unrounded vowel, [ɹ̩] is a syllabic alveolar approximant, and [ɻ̍] is a syllabic retroflex approximant. ...
thesmartwaterbear's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

Why don’t consonants have a definite pitch?

Is it because consonants are too fast or too slow that we perceive them as indefinite pitches?
Emotion's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
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How would vowel-heavy names be written in a pure abjad?

There are a lot of names like "Ai", "Kai", "Anita", or "Amari" that would be quite tricky to infer based on the consonants. Disregarding abjads with matres ...
John Greene's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
133 views

The vowel used when pronouncing a consonant/reciting the alphabet

While this answer talks about how the names of letters are pronounced, my question is how we came up with this way of naming consonants. Is there an official term for the standard vowels used in the ...
ang_rq's user avatar
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-1 votes
4 answers
213 views

Besides English, "a" and "an". which other language uses separate articles before vowels? [duplicate]

In English, "a" changes to "an" before a vowel or a silent "h". Is there any other language where the article changes its form depending on whether it precedes a ...
Arunabh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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What is the difference between double articulations and secondary articulators?

I need to know the examples that makes secondary articulators and double articulations different.
Tobi's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
85 views

Italian words with post-stress -/tj/-

It is well known that Italian -/.tj/- developed into -/t.tsj/- after stressed syllables (gratiam -> grazia). There are, however, several rare words that end in post-stressed -/tj/- like "òstia&...
Enrico's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
154 views

Does Tibetan have nasalized consonants, or is the nasalness on the vowels?

I am working with a native Tibetan speaker to translate some words from Tibetan into English, and I noticed they were marking the pronunciation of certain consonants with a nasal marker. They marked ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Where can I find all of the consonant/vowel word formation formulas for a given language? And what is the name of this?

I'm new to linguistics. I've seen that there are CVC or VVC or similar structures presented in online resources (for example Wikipedia) to denote the possible combinations of sounds. I want to find a ...
Ali Radan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
145 views

Does Lakhota contrast voicing in stops?

WALS Online lists Lakhota as only having a voicing contrast in fricatives (referencing a study by Richard Carter in 1974). However, its Wikipedia article says that it has phonemic voiced bilabial and ...
nearsighted's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are there languages with more vowels than consonants?

Almost all languages of the world have more consonants than vowels. Are there some languages of the world with more vowel phonemes than consonants?
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why were vowels secondary citizens in many of the worlds sound-based writing systems?

Not considering logographic systems like Chinese, and outside Cuneiform (not sure if that is a logo system or something else), it appears at first glance that many of the world's writing systems ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
280 views

How do other cultures categorize phonemes?

I don't know where it came from, but the "west" at least as I have learned, came up with the idea of "vowels" and "consonants" at some point, and we just go with that ...
Lance's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why isn't the American r considered a vowel?

As a native American English speaker from the Northwest, whenever I isolate the r in words like "right" or "rope" it's always /ɚ/, the same as the r in words like "first" ...
Wesley Inselman's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
75 views

What is the name of rear nasal t in 'written' or d in 'ridden'?

I just noticed that usually when I say 'ridden' or sometimes 'written', I don't let the air escape around my tongue as 'duh' or 'tuh' but instead keep it sealed and do something at back of my nose to ...
android.weasel's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

Glottal or Stop /v/?

I am an amateur in linguistics. I was listening to three different British RP pronunciations of the word "massive". https://www.google.com/search?q=pronounce+massive (Make sure to select ...
Chamath P.'s user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

In Classical/Biblical Hebrew, why is CHAF not considered a guttural?

According to "A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew" by Jacob Weingreen, page 19, the four gutturals are ALEF (א), HEI (ה), CHET (ח), and AYIN (ע). And gutturals make a difference as to ...
NealWalters's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
561 views

Difference between voiced and lenis consonants in English

What is difference between voiced and lenis consonants in English language.
Simona Adamuščinová's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
76 views

What is the difference (if any) between a prenasalized voiced bilabial plosive and a voiced bilabial plosive with prolonged closure?

The consonant [b] can be prevoiced, so it would seem, at least at first blush, that prolonging the closure for this plosive would entail prenasalizing it. I've tried to produce it without ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
542 views

Where can I find a list of phonetically possible consonant clusters?

I wanted a list of consonant clusters 2 to 5 consonants long that are phonetically possible, in other words, possible for the human speech mechanism to produce. Unfortunately, I have been unable to ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
155 views

Corsican vowels

In Corsican, some vowels are nasalized before a nasal consonant in the same syllable. What do these vowels have in common? Here are some examples: 'prin.tʃi.pe = prince 'fun.gu = mushroom 'ãn.ku = ...
calculatormathematical's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
268 views

Does modern greek really nasalise intervowel γγ?

During my previous studies I was introduced to ancient Greek and, among other things, I learned that we believe double gamma γγ was pronounced like a prenasalised gamma, something like "ng", ...
Albert's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
911 views

Is there some equivalent of a "Grimm's law" that applies to the Semitic language family?

Arabic has سلام‎ (salaam) and Hebrew has שָׁלוֹם‎ (shalom). The words have similar meanings of "peace". This seems like a case of an alveolar fricative shifting to post-alveolar fricative (...
paceaux's user avatar
  • 223
2 votes
0 answers
717 views

A language without consonants

I know that Rotokas language has fewer consonants than most (all?) languages. But I haven't been able to find a language that has no consonants (whether phonemic or phonetic). Does such a language ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
190 views

Is there a standard(-ish) definition of affricate aspiration/VOT?

Is the frication of an affricate considered part of its aspiration? Or does the aspiration start at the end of the frication? And does voice onset time (VOT) measure aspiration (as defined by the ...
Nardog's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
252 views

order of tables in the IPA chart -- is there a reason?

I was told by a friend that the order of tables in the IPA chart is not completely arbitrary, but has some motivation to it. In particular, that C tables come before the V table, as features of C ...
Andrea Deme's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the longest word without a vowel in any language? [closed]

(see edit below before you answer!) I'm not a linguist, but I've always been fascinated by the fact that in Czech, there is a 9-letter word without a single vowel: čtvrthrst. It means "quarter of ...
honzukka's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does "fine-grained voicing distinctions" for consonants mean according to IPA?

In the Handbook Of The International Phonetic Association is mentioned this paragraph: Voicing distinctions are actually more fine-grained than implied by this two-way distinction [voiced and ...
puwlah's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Pronunciation of double IPA consonants

Let's say an IPA pronunciation contains a double consonant, such as "dd" or "ss". Does that really mean this consonant should be pronounced twice? There are examples where this ...
Daniel Wolf's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
121 views

The possible sound change when /t/ sound is preceded by fricatives or affricatives

Here, I am talking about the assimilated /t/ sound that is one of the most common features of Standard Southern British English (such as /t/ at the beginning of a syllable, time, task, Twitter, twice, ...
Peteryu's user avatar
  • 21
-1 votes
1 answer
82 views

Has a sound change ever happened that voiced only stops in between vowels and not fricatives?

Has this ever happened? Can it happen? I'm a novice in linguistics and I'm trying to study sound changes.
Sarāntairi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
182 views

Phonetic vs phonological consonants: What is the difference?

I come across such distinctions in quite a few places such as in this Wikipedia article, Voiceless glottal fricative, where it states: "The voiceless glottal fricative, sometimes called voiceless ...
PCH's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
294 views

Has the development of double consonants in Latin been studied?

When one studies both Latin and Greek, one of the most prominent differences between the two is the much greater number of double consonants in Latin. While Greek does have some instances of them, ...
theoremseeker's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
818 views

How to Tell Apart Voiced Consonants and Unaspirated Unvoiced Consonants

In languages like Hokkien that use all of the following consonants: /p/, /b/, and /ph/, how do you tell apart /p/ and /b/? Someone once taught me a trick where you say, "spy" and "buy&...
KureKotake's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
226 views

The aspiration of consonants among languages [closed]

I am busy researching the aspiration of consonants among languages. Specifically whether consonants are pre-aspirated or post-aspirated and whether the aspiration occurs in complementary distribution (...
Demi's user avatar
  • 23
0 votes
1 answer
227 views

Labialised /r/ in RP

Is /r/ in RP labialised in all positions? For example: In words like real, free, proud, tree, brother, borrow, dream, throw etc. Is it labialised in all positions (like intervocalic, post-...
Mellifluous's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
104 views

What's with an j/w alternation in some PIE pronouns?

There's a seeming alternation between *j (IEist notation *y) and *w in the PIE 2nd person pronoun (such as between *tewe and *toy) and in the reflexive pronoun (such as between *sewe and *soy). What's ...
JMRD's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
1 answer
151 views

Dental plosive with no apical obstruction

Can I have a paper which describes dental plosives by the two rows of teeth as opposed to contacting the dental area with the tongue ?? I mean the air needs obstructed and the posterior most place of ...
daniel Imber's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
502 views

Are consonants more stable than vowels?

I was trying my hand at an exercise to distinguish the different Sámi dialects (the exercise was used in the 2020 version of the Dutch Linguistics Olympiad). It gives nine words in all nine dialects ...
Keelan's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
834 views

Is there a theory challenging the "strict" distinction between Thai and Vietnamese?

I understand Thai and Lao and all their dialects, and Vietnamese and all its dialects to be of totally different language evolutionary families (Tai Kra-Dai and Astroasiatic). I can speak and read ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

palatalization of plosive consonants

I am trying to learn how to palatalize the consonants. As far as I understand, one must bring the tongue closer to the position of where the vowel [i] is produced while still performing the consonant. ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
379 views

IPA consonant chart confusion, which chart to use?

I'm a bit confuse between three IPA consonants chart. The consonant chart from the official IPA chart; The chart from the English Wikipedia which has different symbol for the same sound but contains ...
DevonDahon's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do voiceless approximants exist? What is the consensus among phoneticians/phonologists?

Voiceless sounds that are produced with supralaryngeal configurations that would be considered approximants if voiced are attested in languages (i.e. [j̊], [l̥], etc.), but none are found to contrast ...
Nardog's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
607 views

Aspiration of voiced consonants

I have read in the wikipedia about aspiration that "voiced consonants are seldom actually aspirated", unlike their unvoiced counterparts. It does not seem so to me. Assuming that aspiration is the ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
353 views

How many consonant clusters can a human being utter?

Most Indian languages have three consonant clusters.I think that English has got three consonant clusters.Example, strange. I would like to know which language has got the most consonant clusters. I ...
Jvlnarasimharao's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Rock's user avatar
  • 465
3 votes
3 answers
282 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 ...
Rock's user avatar
  • 465
7 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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-6 votes
1 answer
281 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; ...
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