Questions tagged [consonants]

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

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2
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3answers
666 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
206 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/?
8
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1answer
4k 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
121 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
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1answer
97 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 ...
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1answer
136 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k 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
27k 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 ...
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4answers
4k 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" ...
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2answers
794 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 ...
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0answers
411 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 ...
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2answers
9k 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
336 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/ ...
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2answers
958 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
345 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
1k 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 ...
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0answers
365 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
258 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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5answers
999 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
183 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/....
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1answer
56 views

"Rate" or "score" a word by various parameters

I’m working on a small project which involves a large list of words (single words, no sentence) and I would love to have a way to “rate” or “score” each word by some parameters. Right now I have two ...
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2answers
2k views

Languages with a three-way distinction between voiced, aspirated, and unaspirated stops

I thought I had asked this question here previously but it turns out that I asked about ejectives rather than aspirated stops. So this time I would like to ask whether there are languages that have a ...
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1answer
593 views

Does the initial part of voiced consonants always have a low pitch?

The spectral graphs in the accepted answer of "What is the difference between voiced and voiceless stop consonants?" shows that in English, the initial part (before the stop release) of voiced stop ...
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1answer
785 views

What ocurrs when a non-strident consonant becomes strident in English?

What is happening when a sound in RP English usage is non-strident [ð] is replaced by a strident sound [v]? For instance, the word 'Father'.
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2answers
226 views

What is the phonological process whereby a speaker uses [ʊ] as a replacement for [l]?

What is the phonological process whereby a speaker would use [ʊ] as a replacement for [l]? Some examples off the top of my head; [lɪtl] -> [lɪtʊ], [gɪgl] -> [gɪgʊ], [twɪŋkl] -> [twɪŋkʊ]
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0answers
162 views

Does [t] become [g] due to anticipatory assimilation?

In this particular rule [t] -> [g]/_ V [+velar] (because of anticipatory assimilation) I'm unsure of how to actually write this in the most efficient way. I want to know that if [t] changes to [g] ...
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3answers
1k views

Are nasals stop consonants?

Nasals: I must answer the question but I am not sure how to understand it... The question is: why nasals both can and cannot be treated as stop consonants? I thought that nasals cannot be stop ...
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1answer
354 views

Can a syllable be open before a lenghtened consonant?

This thread (related to this problem) can be split into two questions, the first one being restricted to Ancient Greek, the second one being more general. (1) Let's be, by example, two syllables, the ...
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2answers
667 views

geminate or long consonants in Ancient Greek?

I can't decide whether Ancient Greek had "geminate" or "long" consonants. In other words did γλῶττα stand for [glˈɔːt̪.t̪a] or for [glˈɔː.t̪ːa] ? The difference between geminate and long consonants is ...
3
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0answers
552 views

What is the difference between an ejective consonant and a sequence of consonant + glottal stop?

Is it just the simultaneousness? Also - can a sequence of say uvular stop and glottal stop become - diachronically - an uvular ejective? Thanks :))
3
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2answers
793 views

What is the consonant equivalent of Well's lexical sets for English vowels?

In Accents of English (1982), John C. Wells came up with a useful notation for English vowels that allows easy comparison of the pronunciation of English vowels in varieties of this language. This ...
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0answers
2k views

How can I distinguish different consonants in Praat/acoustic analysis?

How can I distinguish different consonants based on acoustic information/spectrographic analysis such as in Praat? Is there a list of acoustic cues for different consonants like there is for average ...
5
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1answer
199 views

Are click sounds accompanied by specific formant transitions?

Is it possible to identify click sounds like [‖ ʘ !] by formant transitions in the surrounding vowels? I know stops and fricatives have that feature. I'm just wondering how the five (main) click ...
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1answer
364 views

Is [ɹ] +ATR or -ATR or is that even relevant?

Has there been any investigation into the ATR quality of the central alveolar approximant [ɹ]? It is very vowel-like and I have this theory that it could simply be the result of an advanced tongue ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there use of a trilled "L" sound in any language? Is a trilled "L" even possible?

I've seen nothing on a trilled "L" sound anywhere. I've tried producing the trilled "L" sound and I can get something that seems similar. Is it possible to trill an "L" and if so are there any ...
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3answers
1k views

Does any language contrast more than two trills?

Last night I was thinking about the trill sounds and how most languages I know about have just one, though they vary in which one they have. Most common seems to be the alveolar trill /r/, as in ...
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2answers
782 views

Understanding Voiced Consonants

I've been having some trouble understanding how is it that what differentiates, for example, /p/ from /b/, is the vibration of the vocal chords, present in /b/, but not in /p/. From what I have read ...
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7answers
22k views

Why are consonants distinguished differently than vowels?

Consonants are distinguished normally by features like place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced/voiceless, etc. while vowels are usually distingusihed by stuff like tongue's position and ...
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3answers
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Is the consonant [b] always voiced across languages? What about [p]?

Is the consonant [b] always voiced across languages? What about [p] being voiceless? Similarly, is [k] always voiceless across languages? Basically, I am taking what I know in English and wondering ...
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1answer
270 views

Change of B > W in casual speech

I am exploring the phonological system of Kyrgyz Language. In casual speech people tend to change b > w when b occurs between two vowels or preceeds l, r, y and followed by vowel. Are there other ...
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3answers
3k views

Whispered Voiced Consonants

Is there a difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants when whispering, which as I understand it, does not use the vocal cords? I know it sounds silly to ask because we can all understand ...
11
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2answers
698 views

Do we have the scientific theory why the click consonants were developed?

Do we have a scientific theory explaining why the click consonants were developed, and why they are used almost exclusivly in praerie regions? I've watched a BBC documentary about the evolution of ...
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1answer
593 views

Consonant length-differences by prominence

In a language I am studying I have just noticed a significant but subtle difference in the length of [f] segments in tonic versus atonic syllables (an ~50ms difference which is statistically ...
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4answers
4k views

Where did Spanish get its /x/? Arabic influence?

Most Romance languages don't have /x/ (like the j in hijo), nor did Latin. Where did Spanish /x/ come from? Internal development, Arabic influence, or something else? Since Moroccan Arabic also has /x/...
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2answers
715 views

What caused some IE languages to have consonant inventory sizes different from PIE?

The WALS chapter on consonant inventories shows that the distribution of inventory sizes across languages follows a normal curve, with average size inventories (22 ± 3 consonants) being the most ...
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1answer
418 views

Systematic means of transcribing words to vowel/consontant patterns

Looking for a systematic online step-by-step process to codify English words into vowel/consontant patterns (CVC, CVCe, CVVC, etc.) and the correct sound (long-vowel, short-vowel, blend, diagraph, etc....