Questions tagged [phonetics]

The study of the production and perception of sounds or "phones".

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What is the difference between m̥, mʰ, and mʱ?

I am looking at Help:IPA/Nguni and Help:IPA/Welsh, and wondering what the exact difference is between these sounds, and if there are any good audio recordings (or if you can make one!) showing how ...
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Why there are few aspirated fricatives in the world?

Since there are many aspirated stops and affricatives in the world's languages, why there are few aspirated fricatives in the world? Are there any differences per se between them that make it hard to ...
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/ɫ/ interacting with /ɨ/ in Russian: Pharyngealized, uvularized or velarized?

In the Russian language: /ɫ/ is pharyngealized /ɨ/ velarizes the preceding consonant. In words such as лысый, /ˈɫɨsɨj/, is ɫ velarized, uvularized or pharyngealized? I was unable to find any ...
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What is the official/correct orthography for Alsatian / Elsässisch German?

As per the Wikipedia article on the Alsatian language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsatian_dialect#Orthography) the orthography includes the latin letters A,B,C ... X,Y,Z and the following vowels ...
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Is there Wis-consin and Wi-sconsin?

This is so subtle that I don't know if I'm imagining it. I think I hear two different pronunciations of this word. Are these really distinguishable? Wikipedia says /wɪ ˈskɒnsɪn/, but their audio link ...
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1 vote
1 answer
239 views

Does the English word 'six' violate the Sonority Sequencing Principle?

I'm aware that it's spellt with an X, however phonetically it's [ks]. According to the SSP, plosives should come after fricatives word-finally. Does the spelling with an x stop it from violating the ...
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Approximant and vowels

Are there vowels considered as approximants, since some linguists consider /iː/ as high glide? I'm not sure of it but I remember I read an article about it.
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"Voiceless labialized velar plosive" or "labialized voiceless velar plosive"?

The /k/ in the word "cool" is often labialized i.e. round lips and is transcribed as [kʷ]. How do linguists say its name in phonetics? Voiceless labialized velar plosive or labialized ...
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1 answer
542 views

/t/ sound is pronounced like [ts] in British English

My question is about the sound /t/ being pronounced more like [ts] in British accent. For example, The words like Tomato, Peter, water, task, Tom, talented, take the /t/ sound is definitely not ...
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What is the difference between a glide and a semivowel?

Is the following distinction made by this university lesson between glides and semivowels standard?: Glides include speech sounds where the airstream is frictionless and is modified by the position ...
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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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Are voiced true nasal fricatives the same as breathy nasal stops?

True nasal fricatives, formerly known as nareal fricatives, are fricatives whose airflow is only through the nasal cavity. In extIPA, they are notated by [ ͋], e.g. [m͋]. That would mean the mouth is ...
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Differences in realization of intrusive-r and linking-r?

Are there any good papers that have investigated this? I seemed to notice this with some speakers on television that their intrusive-r's seemed less pronounced than their linking-r's. I did find a ...
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4 answers
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are there any languages that have sounds in diphthongs that don’t occur in isolation?

essentially i am doing an assignment for class in which we are building a pretend vowel system for a pretend language based on sound files we are given. i had two diphthong files with 5 other files ...
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2 answers
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/ðæs saɪd/ versus /ɡʊb bɔɪ/ - Assimilation of place versus manner

Good day I am facing a problem to distinguish between assimilation of place and assimilation of manner So in Peter R's book he said that (AOM) is much less noticeable, and he provided examples which ...
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2 votes
1 answer
883 views

How to read a spectrogram?

I read some materials online How to Read a Spectrogram, Reading Spectrograms: Consonants, Reading Spectrograms: Vowels. I still have no idea how to analyze a spectrogram. Could anyone explain with the ...
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1 answer
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What causes a glottal stop after some silence before a vowel?

I recently asked a question Do we pronounce the vowel at the beginning of the word with a preceding glottal stop? on the English site and received a very good answer. According to the answer on that ...
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1 answer
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Deruny, deruni or deryni? [closed]

What is the correct spelling of potato pancakes, If we take the Russian or Ukrainian origin of the word? Deruny, deruni or deryni? A google search for the etymology says deryny And Wikipedia: Potato ...
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1 vote
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Terminology about elongating a monothong or a diphthong by duration and tone

Which terminology is applicable when a monothong or diphthong is elongated in duration and with a slightly higher pitch? Would it be vowel breaking or fracturing or something else? Example 1 (...
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1 answer
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How to write these rules in features?

I was wondering how do you write these rules in features using the minimum number of features to describe the segment(s) targeted by the rule in the input. I am still super new to linguistics! Thank ...
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1 answer
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English speakers inserting R in French words

I teach French to people from various background and first languages, but one thing that most English speakers do (even very proficient ones sometimes) is adding R sounds in words. Saying 'droi' for &...
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1 answer
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Is my textbook wrong about phonetic transcription?

brand new here with (I hope) a simple question. Yesterday I had my first linguistics class and the professor mentioned a difference between phonemic and phonetic transcription. He said for e.g. that a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
188 views

Why are sound changes regular?

Say, there is a word that used to be pronounced [ten] but gradually shifted to [tin]. I get it. There is always variety in how people pronounce words. Throw in some population dynamics, and the median ...
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3 votes
2 answers
211 views

Source to look up pronunciation of phonetic script

Can anyone recommend a book that a non-linguist can use to look up and pronounce words written in phonetic script? For example, Wikipedia has this written down: "[ɛks’pɑzətɔri]". I want to ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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What is the name of this sound change, and do we have it in English?

I'm a Persian, I'm from Iran, and I speak Farsi. Here, we have a very strange rule that we turn آ into و in informal conversations. For example: خانه = house (formal) /kh a ne/ خونه = house (informal) ...
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4 votes
2 answers
627 views

Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate in english?

The "officially" voiceless alveolar-palatine affricate does not exist in English. But I can clearly hear it in the sentence "Ouch that hurt" (when the computer reads this sentence ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"Aesthetics" of languages/Categorisation by phonetics?

TL;DR: Are there any categories for comparing languages based on properties like vowel range and sonority, e.g. the amount of "hard" elements (plosives etc.) or syllable frequency/rate of ...
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Are there any languages in which meaning is formally embedded in the speed at which a word is spoken?

If such a language does exist I assume it would be difficult to teach or learn.
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462 views

IPA diacritic for "no oral release" of nasals

Is there a diacritic in IPA for explicitly marking a nasal consonant as orally released (like coda nasals in careful speech in English) or having no oral release (like coda nasals in Cantonese)? In ...
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Is /ɧ/ a sibilant?

Is /ɧ/ a sibilant? It sounds like a sibilant to me but I'm not sure. I didn't find any evidence so I really have nothing else to include in my question. The sj-sound (Swedish: sj-ljudet [ˈɧêːˌjʉːdɛt])...
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1 answer
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Differences between /ᵐb/ (prenasalization) and /mb/

What's the difference between prenasalized voced plosive /ᵐb/ and just the sound /mb/, if any? I've watched this video where /ᵐbʷ/ is pronounced, and I'd pronounce /mbʷ/ in the same way.
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1 vote
1 answer
351 views

About the "ᵊ" superscript in IPA

I apologize for a diletant question but does "ə" in "piᵊŋ" indicate a secondary articulation? I couldn't find it in the list of "Co-articulation diacritics" on Wikipedia'...
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5 votes
1 answer
288 views

What makes /l/ an approximant, instead of a fricative?

My understanding of approximants is that they are produced without the tongue coming into direct contact with any of the articulators in the mouth, which is true for /w/ /r/ and /j/. But /l/ is ...
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2 answers
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Are false cognates something languages tend to create?

It could easily be my own bias but I feel like false cognates are suspiciously common. Do similar meanings tend to acquire similar sounds in language evolution? Have there been any studies whether ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is the phenomenon of liaison developed by dark L in British English in some areas?

There has been discussion about the dark L being heard as a vowel by L2 learners, though this view is often denied and corrected by L1 speakers, who point out that the dark L is indeed a consonant ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Is there a reason that /w/ isn't represented on the IPA chart?

The sound that represents the English <w>, as in "week", is the voiced labio-velar approximant /w/. In the "Consonant" section of the Wiki page for the IPA, however, /w/ isn'...
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4 answers
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Can languages restrict their number of distinct syllables when written by syllabaries?

Disclaimer: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. From How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?, Yoon Mi Oh's thesis counted the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?

Note: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. I would like to find some approximate data (if it exists) comparing several languages with the number of different syllables ...
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1 answer
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What does it mean to say a language is phonetic?

I have often heard phrases like "Sanskrit is phonetic and Hindi is not". But what does it mean to say a language is phonetic? A language is separate from the script we choose to write it in ...
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2 answers
751 views

Is Sanskrit 100% phonetic?

Even though many languages are still written in Devanagari, they have a problem of schwa deletion. But that problem doesn't exist in Sanskrit. I know that almost all languages have phonetic ...
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14 votes
3 answers
312 views

term for gibberish intended to resemble specific language

Is any term identified, among linguists, for an effect by which some speech or text has no meaning, and yet superficially resembles, by following certain patterns, speech or text from a particular ...
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1 answer
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Is h↓ the correct IPA representation of the ingressive "fast gasp", meaning "uh-huh", in French?

Spoken French has two ingressive forms of "yes". One is "ouais" [wɛ↓], equivalent to "yep" in English. The other is a "pure" ingressive sound, described ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is the correct term for a "lazy L"?

This question is about a mild form of a specific speech pathology that seems to be gaining prevalence in Australia and if there is a term for it. It is not an "accent" issue, because it can ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does anyone actually use /æ/ as an emphatic article?

In the movie "Wayne's World" (1992), Mike Myers's character (the titular Wayne) says "I don't even own æ gun, let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack." To my ears ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Confounding factors in the perception of foreign vowel sounds

I'm having a strange experience trying to reproduce a token of ɛ / æ from a native speaker of Thai. When I play my attempt back it sounds like a reasonable copy, but looking at it in Praat, the ...
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2 answers
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Finding articulatory profiles

I have two questions. The first is how is it better to call such pictures? Is the term 'articulatory profile' alright? The second: is there a place on the internet or elsewhere which contains many ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Is it a coincidence that words ending in -ooch in English tend to be colloquial? If not, why?

There are several words in common English usage that end in -ooch: brooch cooch gooch (these two refer to body parts) hooch (alternatively written "hootch") klooch looch mooch pooch scooch scrooch ...
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2 votes
1 answer
61 views

The reason for a partly voiced hold in I’d

In I’d take ’d t can be pronounced as [t] with the first part of the hold voiced (the second one and the plosion with aspiration are voiceless). How is it better explained: is it because of [ai] (...
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1 vote
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Aspiration of p, t, k in English

I'm trying to figure out when exactly p, t, k should be aspirated in (American) English. Here's what I found here: Voiceless stops are aspirated at the beginning of a word, and at the beginning ...
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1 vote
1 answer
561 views

Citing Praat script APA

I'm currently using a Praat script I found online and I would like to cite it in my thesis. Does anyone know whether there is a specific APA format for citing Praat scripts? I've tried looking into ...
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