Questions tagged [consonants]

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

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2answers
85 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 = ...
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2answers
118 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", ...
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1answer
815 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 (...
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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1answer
139 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 ...
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4answers
8k views

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

(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 ...
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1answer
64 views

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 ...
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3answers
330 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 ...
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0answers
57 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, ...
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1answer
69 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.
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1answer
83 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 ...
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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, ...
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3answers
668 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&...
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1answer
146 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 (...
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1answer
121 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-...
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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 ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
181 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 ...
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1answer
732 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 ...
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1answer
86 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. ...
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3answers
283 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 ...
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2answers
726 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 ...
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1answer
326 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 ...
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1answer
251 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 ...
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2answers
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 ...
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3answers
175 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 ...
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3answers
692 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 ...
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1answer
227 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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4answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
204 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 ...
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2answers
220 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 ...
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52 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 ...
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1answer
83 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.
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2answers
234 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), ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
268 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/...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 "...
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1answer
144 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....
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4answers
393 views

Why d͡z is not considered two consonants

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

Is there a universal basis for consonants vs vowels?

Is this unique to certain families of language or all verbal human language?
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1answer
251 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 ...
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0answers
252 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 ...
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1answer
140 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 ...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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6answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
8k views

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 ...