Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [phonology]

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

1
vote
2answers
75 views

What can we say about Classical Nahuatl <z>?

Nahuatl has two sibilant fricatives, now pronounced something like [s] and [ʃ]. The standard orthography was developed by Spanish colonizers, who wrote /ʃ/ as x, and /s/ as c before a front vowel, z ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

Forced Aligner doesn’t work on denoised sound file

I’m using p2fa to do aligning for a sound file. Because the speaker has some heavy breath that was misinterpreted as words, I used praat to denoise it, and it sounds pretty good. However, p2fa almost ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is there any difference between laminal postalveolar ʃ and laminal flat postalveolar ʃ˖

Lithuanian language has laminal flat postalveolar and Maastrichtian Limburgish has laminal postalveolar. Are they any different, or just the same sound
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Are any of the Old Chinese reconstructions for「能」plausible descendants of Proto-Sino-Tibetan /*dɣwjəm/?

(Apologies if this is off-topic.) The Chinese character「能」was originally a picture of a kind of bear. The character was once used to represent a word meaning bear, but this word doesn't appear to ...
4
votes
3answers
162 views

What exactly is the definition of a syllable?

I do not consider myself a linguist. I just teach English to Japanese audience. So please excuse my ignorance if this is too basic a question. What exactly is the definition of a syllable? What I ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Word Boundaries and Compounding

I figure any definition for a word boundary is probably somewhat fuzzy. However, I thought, instead of banging my head against the wall trying to come with an ad-hoc solution, I would throw this out ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Charles Hockett - 'F' article?

In the Guardian, there is an article on cultural determinants of phonological feature choice. A recent article in Science supposedly supports the hypothesis that the existence of labiodental ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Is morphology always attributable to phonological processes?

I am wondering if you can justify the development of most/all morphemes to regular phonological processes if you argue that diachronically those environments existed and have just been lost in modern ...
0
votes
2answers
64 views

Phonological changes and how they spread

An important part of language change is surely phonological variation. I'd assume that phonological changes happen involuntarily, driven mainly by articulatory mechanisms, and then slowly spread to ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How did Ancient Greek 'πυρ' become English 'fire?'

fire is derived from the Ancient Greek πυρ. My question is: how did the plosive become a fricative? I believe pyre is also derived from πυρ; why is it that pyre didn't also undergo this "...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

The “th” sound in appalachian dialects

I've noticed that the th sound often becomes a plosive sound in Appalachian English. When and how did this phenomenon start?The only case I know where this happens in the british isles is Irish.Does ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

What informative and yet easy-to-read introductory books in English are there for Spanish Phonology?

I had my eyes on The Phonology of Spanish by Iggy Roca but I can't find the book in any store, neither it's ISBN or even it's cover! Evidence indicates that it wasn't even published but it pertained ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

Do these vowel sounds “slip” in languages such as Spanish and Hebrew?

As far as I can tell based on recordings of languages such as Spanish and Hebrew, the phonemes /e i o u/ or /ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ/ tend to "slip" freely between being [e i o u] and being [ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ]. Is this true, ...
1
vote
4answers
83 views

Are there other aspirated phones in English?

It is known that English has a set of aspirated consonants, the allophones [pʰ], [tʰ] and [kʰ] of /p/, /t/, /k/, respectively. Are there other consonants with aspirated allophones? In which cases do ...
-1
votes
2answers
114 views

Is it really impossible for two different languages to have the exact same set of phonemes?

Is it really impossible for two different languages to have the exact same set of phonemes? I read that somewhere and wanted to know if it was true.
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

Experiment design: forced choise test for auditory recognition

I need help in experiment design. As an analogy, lets take English: I want to test if speakers can distinguish between the the word "red" and "read" if listening to recordings of it. I want to do ...
2
votes
5answers
139 views

Why are allophones called variants of a phoneme?

I initially thought that it was because allophones happened in the physical world in place of phonemes, that couldn't, but that proved to be wrong when I read this: "The segment [pʰ] is an allophonic ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Pronunciation of final consonants in the history of English

When in the history of the english language did the consonants begin to be pronounced as a glottal stop? I notice this phenomenon is more prevalent in American English at the end of words but ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

In need of a simple book on English phonology - recommendations? [closed]

SPE of Chomsky and Halle entails far more than I can handle.
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does schwa have a special place among vowels?

What makes schwa so special? On my phonology exam my tutor phrased the question something like: Why is schwa the ruler/king of vowels? I don't know what he meant by this but I suppose it's got ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What does a long mid-high unrounded back vowel sound like?

I'm trying to figure out what the Livonian character ȱ sounds like. As far as I can tell, it's a long mid-high unrounded back vowel. In IPA it seems to be written as /ɤː/ but that seems to be a non-...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

What would be the hypothetical phonological range of canines based on their physiology?

There are all kinds of videos showcasing "talking" dogs like huskies jabbering away, but I'm curious: In theory (in a world where dogs could have human brains) what would they physiologically be ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Complementary distribution and defective distribution

I'm not sure if I understood what complementary distribution and defective distribution mean. I have a definition that complementary distribution is an automatic, i.e. obligatory positional variation ...
-2
votes
1answer
100 views

Advanced book for English Phonology?

pals. Does anyone know any advanced book(s) in Phonology of English and could give me a title/the titles, please? I am studying English Philology (so English is my 2nd language) and we've just ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Phonology: Exemplars vs. Abstract Phoneme Theory

I have come across an essay title asking us to critique the evidence of language being processed as either “abstract phonemes” or “surface exemplars”. (Specifically in phonology) Is this a rewording ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

*through* vs. *tough*: ME*-ough* /uːx/ > –? How are the sound shifts from ME -ough explained?

How is it explained that the sound sequence /uːx/ -ough has developed so differently in different words? Not-dipthongized in through, shortened and unrounded and retained fricative in tough, lowered ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Change from labialized velar to labial

Is there a specific auditory reason for which a labiovelar such as "kʷ" becomes a "p" sound?This could also be applied to the change in Latin from "duellum" to "bellum"
7
votes
3answers
448 views

Development of diphthongs

Is there a specific reason for which diphthongs in German and English words like "mein" and "like" arose? It seems to be a pretty common phenomenon, but somehow it seems to be limited to Germanic ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Why is phonemic labialization often found only on dorsal consonants?

According to Merritt Ruhlen, over 50% of occurrences of phonemic labialization are applied to dorsal (velar and uvular) consonants, while coronals are usually left out. There are a few families where ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

What is the difference between ŋ͡͡j and ɲ? [duplicate]

I was thinking about how a "b̃" is the same thing as an "m" and a "s̪" is the same thing as a "θ". Maybe the same applies to ŋ͡͡j and ɲ?
3
votes
0answers
54 views

How are LH words assigned stress in Latin if we assume maximally bimoraic feet?

I recently came across a paper, "The Quantitative Trochee in Latin" (by R. Armin Mester, 1994) that seems to argue that feet in Latin were "strictly" bimoraic. The arguments that Mester gives for ...
8
votes
2answers
201 views

How did Latin get its stress pattern?

As far as I know, Latin had a word-initial accent for some time of its history after losing the Indo-European accent. I am wondering why Latin then switched to an ante-/pen-ultima stress pattern.
8
votes
1answer
99 views

Whispering in languages heavily dependent on pitch or phonation distinctions

When whispering in English all (segmental) phonological distinctions can – as far as I am aware – still be made, which may be due to redundancy (or simply because voicing is optional). I even ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

What type of stress does French have

So I know that there are on the one hand pitch-accent languages (like South-Slavic languages, Greek, Norwegian, etc.) where the accentuated syllable is indicated by a particular pitch contour/tone ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

What fraction of compound phonemes actually exist in natural language?

Are there phoneme sequences ("pairs") that have not been found in any natural language? I imagine there are some number of sequences that are physically impossible, but also some that are physically ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

Question about nasal vowels in IPA

Probably a silly question, but why are there no nasal vowels in IPA charts? Should we assume that nasal vowels are placed in the same position as the corresponding oral vowels in the vocal chart? So ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

Free variation in French

In French, some speakers differentiate between the pronunciation of maître /mɛ:tʁ/ and mettre /mɛtʁ/ - that is, in the first case the /ɛ/ is long and in the second it's short, but that ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are “two instances of /r/ in one word” awkward?

Why Do Languages Change? (2010) by R. L. Trask. pp. 5-6     Our story moves now to Scotland, where the word grammar underwent a small change of pronunciation to glamour, reflecting the ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Rhotic gutturalization in French

While reading my tutor's paper I came across a term which I would like to understand better. Uvular trill [R] appears in certain French dialects. That sound often changes into a voiced uvular ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Is there a variety of Yiddish where /ɛ/ can be raised to [e]?

Is there a variety of Yiddish where /ɛ/ can be raised to [e]? If not, is it too weird to have /aj/ and /ɛ/ with no [e] or [ej] in between?
1
vote
3answers
115 views

Textbook suggestions for French phonology

I need to write a paper on French phonology for my Phonology class so I was wondering if you could give me some advice on where to start? I'm mainly looking for textbooks either in English or in ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

IPA Pronunciation of Unvoiced Consonants Seems Like Voiced

This might be a trivial question, but it seems to me that certain unvoiced example pronunciations for IPA sounds resemble the voiced one. For example, on this site: http://www....
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Does English have syllabic fricatives (allophonically)?

When speaking rapidly, it doesn't seem that I make a schwa at all when saying a phrase like, say, "the bus." It seems like I'm saying [ð̩.bʌs]. Is this a documented phenomenon?
1
vote
1answer
107 views

The rule of location of stress in English verbs

There are three sets of verbs to point out the location of stress, which are: (Bold implies stress) A => exit B => exist C => improve, surprise C - consonant / V - Vowel According to this data, ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

Sources on statistics of phonological properties of languages

I am looking for basic linguistic properties of Indo-European languages that provide a purely statistical description of the phoneme-aspect of the language. I am looking for any of the following data: ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Which dialect/accent of English has the most/least sounds?

My accent is from New York City, yet I wonder which area has the most or least sounds in their phonemic inventory. While one may have the most vowels and another the most consonants, I would like to ...
1
vote
1answer
124 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Would anything bad happen if we made our alphabet represent the phonemes more accurately?

Using it to represent phones is of course bonkers, it would make much more likely for an unitary language to be split apart. When we are dealing with phonemes that problem is inexistent in my opinion, ...
6
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

In what ways does Arabic use letters as orthographic signs without phonetic significance?

ا (alif) and و when used as orthographic signs without phonetic significance are not represented in romanization. fa‘alū فعلوا ulā’ika أوقية ūqīyah أولائك — ALA-LC guide to ...