Questions tagged [phonology]

The study of the abstract aspect of the sounds or *phonemes* in a given language.

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Are there any dialects of English which ⟨i⟩ in unstress syllable will be realized as [ɪ]?

The pronunciation of "dilute" should be /daɪˈlut/, but according to Wikipedia, another acceptable pronunciation of this word is /dɪˈlut/. So I summarize this rule as "/aɪ/ is realized ...
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Can an onset of a syllable be CV?

Hypothetically speaking, can a CVVC sequence be segmented into a CV onset, a V nucleus and a C coda? Or is it the case that the VV will always be the nucleus?
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Phonology and Reconstruction of Pronunciation?

What is the closest thing to Phonology that we had in Ancient Times (Classical Greece, Hellenistic, Greco-Roman); is there any solid foundation for the Erasmian Pronunciation (or any other ...
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Is it useful to render French /i y u/ and /j ɥ w/ as allophones?

Because /i y u/ behave so differently to the other French vowels /ɛ ɑ œ ɔ/, which all have tense and nasal variants, while also being symmetrical to the semivowels /j ɥ w/, it is attractive to render ...
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Is there a name for a sound that is a combination of multiple tones under one breath?

William Smalley was the one that was credited for creating the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA) to be used in the Mong/Hmong language. He used the D marker to distinguish the tone shift from M to V ...
32 votes
10 answers
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Is pronouncing loanwords according to their "native" pronunciation stigmatised across most cultures and languages?

This old CollegeHumor sketch highlights an interesting phenomenon: it's often frowned upon or disapproved of, at least in the US and England, to pronounce a loanword according to the phonetics of the ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Unaspirated plosives vs their voiced counterparts

I am having some trouble distinguishing ''aspiration'' from ''voice'' for plosives. Now I know ''aspiration'' and ''voice'' sound like completely different concepts but let's take /p/ for example. /p(...
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Pronunciation of English R

I'm a native speaker and I notice I pronounce R as [ɹʋ] non finally, a spontaneous ɹ and ʋ. At the end of words though I use the regular ɹ. Is this normal and does anyone else do this?
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Does -z / -ces in Spanish plurals reflect sound change in the past?

Spanish nouns ending with -z become -ces in plural forms. (e.g. lapiz-lapices, vez-veces, etc.) While -zes and -ces sound same in Modern Spanish, they represented different sounds between 15-16th ...
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How is F0 determined?

I was reading Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology (Authors and page numbers will be added when I get my iPad back). And I am learning the concept of 'F0' for the first time. So according to this ...
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Is a gesture a movement of a single articulator or of all articulators of a segment?

In researching the term '(articulatory) gesture', it seems to me that the meaning is something like 'movement of a single articulator for a single segment'. Ergo, e.g. a sound with secondary ...
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Is Influence of Substratum's phonology biological? [closed]

As a follow up to a recent question (1) where it is argued that the effect of substrate on the second language is most remarkable in phonology: Do you know if this has biological reasons in production ...
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Pronunciation of the letter g in Vietnamese

According to Wikipedia, the letter g represents the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ in Vietnamese. However, I could swear that, while I do hear people pronounce it as /ɣ/ sometimes, but more often than not,...
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Are there any slavic or romance languages/dialects with allophonic aspirated consonants?

I know a lot of slavic and romance languages don't aspirate their consonants at all, but are there any languages from these two subgroups of languages that do use aspiration as a feature of consonants?...
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Japanese terms from Sanskrit

This question started when I learned that "hannya haramita" (般若波羅蜜多) comes from Sanskrit "prajñā pāramitā" (प्रज्ञापारमिता). It is not hard to see that what was /p/ in Sanskrit ...
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How can I tell the difference between types of assimilation?

I am currently studying linguistics (new to the subject) and I have a challenging time understanding the different assimilation forms. So far we studied these: Assimilation of voicing only (place and ...
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Correlation Between Voicing and Place of Articulation?

So after studying the phonologies of many languages, I've noticed the pattern that consonants produced towards the front of the mouth are more likely to be voiced, while those produced towards the ...
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Looking for linguistics book my dad had when i was young

Hello linguistics people... When I was young, one of the books in my father's library had a unique conceit: it aimed to improve the English language. So it proposed changes, and from then on the ...
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How to organize a phonology?

When I look at phonologies on Wikipedia, such as Xhosa or Chinese, it typically goes through the base I would say "features" of the sound system: what are the consonants they use, what are ...
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Are there languages which have h following a consonant, that contrasts with aspiration?

I am working on a conscript and want to make sure I can handle all of Earth's languages. In some Indian languages they have the aspirated consonants like bh like bhavya. It is basically a breathy b. ...
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How is phonology language specific? [closed]

I found this question in a phonology exam. I didn't understand the second part. How IS phonology language-specific? Give 3 criteria to show how sounds have different functions using examples from ...
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What has happened to the World Phonotactics Database?

There was a resource named "World Phonotactics Database" once located at http://phonotactics.anu.edu.au/, but this location has gone. Searching for World Phonotactics Database on the web ...
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PHOIBLE as a graph database?

Is there a phonological inventory database along the lines of PHOIBLE, but represented as a graph database in the vein of e.g. Prolog or Datalog? From the kinds of questions that get referred to ...
2 votes
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Plosives with trilled release or allophones of /u/?

I've been looking at contexts where [ʙ] arises and I stumbled on the Namuyi wikipedium. This presents a really interesting phonology, with phonemic /pʙ/, /tʙ/, /bʙ/, and /dʙ/. Now I don't generally ...
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Difference between voiced and lenis consonants in English

What is difference between voiced and lenis consonants in English language.
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Violations of sonority sequencing principle in English

What accounts for these violations of the sonority sequencing principle in English: /strɛŋkθ/, /fʌdʒ/ (both have fricatives after stops in the coda) Wikipedia says In native English words, no phoneme ...
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1 answer
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Why do many languages analyse [e̞] as /ɛ/?

I experience that most analyses of many languages that I know, in particular Swedish, (Flemish) Dutch, Norwegian and Icelandic, analyse the languages' short ⟨e⟩ as /ɛ/, while they sound a lot more ...
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Why are English diphthongs not analysed as a vowel and a glide?

The English language has the diphthongs /eɪ aɪ ɔɪ aʊ əʊ/, analysed differently in some accents. They end in sounds that are very close to [j] and [w], yet are analysed as unsyllabic [ɪ] and [ʊ]. Since ...
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Question about Chinese stress

Does Chinese have stress, as many people suggested there’s stress on Chinese trisyllabic words?
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How to present affricates in onset consonant clusters

When an affricate is included in the onset of a word e.g., the Polish /ɡd͡ʑi/, is this a CCCV or CCV structure? Following this, when putting it into a syllable tree, would the affricate be two ...
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What kind of stress is this?

I found the word "ice-free" is pronounced /ˈˌaɪsˈˌfri/ in Oxford English Dictionary, but what kind of stress is this? Should it be called 'there are two primary stresses and two secondary ...
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The A sound in Ask and At

I was reading a book on rhetoric today and it had the following table of pronounciation: The thing I find confusing about this table is that I pronounce the A in "ask" and "at" ...
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About phonological history of Middle French

Schwa in hiatus dwindled in French a few centuries ago. Compare the example "saputum > sëu > su" at Wikipedia/History of French Does anyone know WHEN this sound change occurred? I ...
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Can I find an Ancient Greek parsing program that dissects words into their constituent phonemes from reconstructed Proto-Greek?

For example, suppose I enter "πράσσουσα" and it outputs πραάͳοντσα or even, πρααͳ-ο-ντ-σα (root, ablaut, participle marker, feminine). Or I put in πᾶς and it outputs πάαντ-ς (root, 3rdNS)...
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What's going on when people hear my voiced stops as voiceless unaspirated stops?

I'm native speaker of Georgian, a language which has phonemic distinction between voiceless, 'voiced', and ejective consonants (according to study and Wikipedia) though when repeating Georgian voiced ...
2 votes
2 answers
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why do the plain voiceless stops sound like ejective stops?

Why do plain voiceless stops i.e [p t k] sound like ejective [pʼ tʼ kʼ]? am a native speaker of a language which has phonemic distinction between voiced, voiceless and aspirated stops and affricates (...
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What is the linguistical terminology for (and if) letters of a given alphabet have(ing) their inherent meaning?

Letters or phonemes. Letters, like runes according to this article: https://sonsofvikings.com/apps/fireamp/blogs/history/viking-runes-guide-runic-alphabet-meanings-nordic-celtic-letters At least that'...
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1 answer
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Morphophonemic rules in phonology

I am wondering how the two phonological terms "morphonemic rules" and "morphophonemic rules" can be distinguished? A morpheme might have different presentations (i.e. ...
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2 answers
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What is the difference between a Diphthong and a heterosyllabic sequence of two vowels?

For example what is the difference between /aɪ/ and /a.ɪ/ or between /au̯/ and /a.u/? how they be distinguished from each other?
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Does English obey the maximal onset principle?

Does English always obey the maximal onset principle?
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How is the word 'second' phonologically split into syllables?

The Cambridge dictionary says that the word 'second' is uttered as /ˈsek.ənd/, in which the first syllable is /sek/ and the second is /ənd/. My question is thus the following: why doesn't this word ...
3 votes
2 answers
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Why is a voiced, voiceless unaspirated, and aspirated distinction so rare cross-linguistically?

Why is that a lot of languages have the distinction between voiceless-voiced consonant but not a lot of languages have three-way distinction between voiced, voiceless unaspirated, and aspirated ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What the process is here?

Here is a phonological rule: -ViC(-) > -VCʲ(-), where i both /i/ or /j/; and its vice versa: -VCʲ(-) > -ViC(-). (I think that -VeC(-) is possible too). But I don't know what is the name of ...
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7 answers
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Are there any natural languages in which /ʂ/ and /ʃ/ are distinct phonemes?

I'm having a difficult time trying to find languages that have a phonemic contrast between /ʂ/ and /ʃ/. I can hear the difference without difficulty because /ʂ/ sounds like a lower frequency range of ...
13 votes
1 answer
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What's the difference between a syllabic consonant and a schwa followed by a consonant?

I'm a native speaker of a language which has syllabic consonants, here are the examples კლდე/k'lde, [kʼl̩dɛ] "cliff" ქრთამი/krtami, [kʰɾ̩tʰami] "bribe" ბრძენი/brdzeni, [bɾ̩d͡zɛni] &...
1 vote
1 answer
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What would /ɯ/ most likely be replaced by? [closed]

If a language was borrowing words from another language that has /ɯ/, what would the first language possibly substitute it with? Borrowing language phonology - Consonants: m n ɲ p b t d c ɟ k g ts dz ...
5 votes
1 answer
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How do non-English speakers perceive English /b d g/?

Based on some reading that I've done, the English "voiced" stops /b d g/ aren't actually voiced word-initially. For instance, /bæt/ is realized as [pæt] or [b̥æt], rather than [bæt]. The ...
1 vote
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Is there any real phonemic distinction between semivowels and their vocalic counterparts?

So my understanding is that semivowels are phonetically identical (or nearly identical) to their vocalic equivalents, and that the distinction between the two is primarily based on how they behave ...
3 votes
2 answers
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How to exactly pronounce IPA

I'm a native Korean speaker, and I somtimes have trouble pronuncing some of the sounds which is not used or not distinguished in Korean. For example, ɛ and e are equivalent to Korean phoneme ㅐ and ㅔ. ...
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Are there languages without the /j/ sound as in English "yellow"?

There are many languages without the /w/ sound as in English world, as in French oiseau, as in Spanish fuego, and as in Mandarin wang (the last three respectively mean bird, fire, and king). Some ...

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