Questions tagged [phonology]

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

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3answers
1k views

Did Ancient Greek have a rising intonation for questions?

Unlike English, Ancient (e.g. Attic) Greek does not reorder words to formulate a question. The particle "ἆρα" does modify a statement into a question, but is not always present. In that case, I ...
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Why is it called labialisation and not roundedness

I strongly feel that “Labialised” consonants aren’t really labialised, and perhaps “rounded” consonants would be a more suitable term, given that you can have a “labialised labial plosive”, which ...
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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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What is the consensus on Sumerian auslauts?

(Or Auslaute if you want to be pretentious, I suppose.) In Sumerian, there seems to be uncertainty about the status of final consonants in CVC signs. For example, the unmarked form of "heart"...
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Difference pronunciation of the word cometh in Middle English and Early Modern English?

Does anyone know how you pronounce the root vowel of the word cometh in ME and EModE? What is this particular sound change called?
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Number of tones in Cantonese vs. Mandarin and final stops

The emergence of tones in Chinese languages (and actually most tonal languages) is, roughly speaking, due to the loss of final consonnants of syllables at an earlier stage of the language. In ...
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When you think one word, but write another, similar sounding word?

If you are writing or typing and you are thinking of one word, but then type another word made of the same phonemes, what is that called and what are the linguistic and /or psychological phenomena ...
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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 ...
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Did Classical Latin lack tenseness contrast in long and short vowels?

Contrary to the traditional supposition of /ɪ ʊ ɛ ɔ/ vs /iː uː eː oː/, the idea that Classical Latin contrasted the short and long versions of high and mid (or just mid) vowels only quantitatively, ...
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598 views

What are the best books to study Phonology at an introductory level? [closed]

I'm looking for a good introduction to phonology book with good examples of diverse languages.
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41 views

Evidence for segmental phonology in the acoustic speech signal

What evidence for segmental phonology could be found in the acoustic speech signal? I think the parameters of acoustic speech signals include f0, amplitude, duration, wave form, etc., which are ...
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Claim that the american r sound is actually [ʁ] out west

This quora answer by Kit di Pomi (and if you browse his other answers he uses a similar uvular transcription) claims that: [ʀ] isn’t used anywhere off-stage as far as I know, typically American ...
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Speakers of a foreign language in a nation sounding similar in 'mispronunciations'

For pronunciation of a foreign language, do foreign speakers from a certain country speak with the same accent because they learn in their country from someone with that accent, or their native ...
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What are the core differences between generative phonology and metrical phonology?

What core features distinguish generative phonology from metrical phonology?
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Any languages that consider the alveolar and uvular trill distinct consonant phonemes?

I am intrigued by the difference between alveolar and uvular trills (and related phones) within and across languages, e.g., per this map of European /r/ usage (taken from this comment), which seems to ...
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What were allophone rules for [r] in Old English and Middle English?

I gather that [r] (trill) was realized as [ɹ] in different dialects of Old English and Middle English, but when [r] was used, was it an allophone? In other words, did [r] vary predictably with [ɹ] (...
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Does the French R-sound come from Germanic influence?

Unless I'm mistaken, it is the same sound as the R in German, Yiddish, Danish,and Swedish.
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How many vowels does spoken Hindustani have and what are the proper values of /e/ and /o/?

On the Wikipedia page for Hindustani phonology, it lists Hindustani as having ten vowels, three short and seven long. More importantly, it claims that there is a distinction between /o/ and /ɔ/, and ...
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Where are these Danish sounds in IPA?

I worked with a native Danish translator, using a simplified version of IPA for transcribing Danish words into their pronunciation. They pointed out 3 sounds that weren't covered by the system (which ...
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How many sibilants did Old Akkadian cuneiform distinguish?

According to fdb's answer to another question: It is believed that Old Akkadian (at least) still retained the Semitic distinction of s₁, s₂ and s₃ and used different signs for syllables containing ...
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Is it possible to have an underlying phoneme in complementary distribution?

Might seem like a stupid question but I'm rather confused right now! :) Also if anyone has any answers to the following... Consider these phonetic forms of Hebrew words: [v] – [b] bika ‘lamented’ ...
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Did Sumerian have /ħ/?

According to Gelb 1961, the famous Sumerian sign É ("house, building") was originally pronounced /ħa/ (or ḥa in Semiticist transcription). The main evidence for this is loanwords into other ...
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What happened to “accented velars” in Anatolian?

One of the oldest splits within Indo-European was between the Centum and Satem languages; they differ in what they did to the "accented velar" phonemes (like *ḱ and *ǵ). However, if I understand ...
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Book recommendation on language acquisition of phonetics and phonology in American children?

I'm looking for answers to the following questions about language acquisition, as far as phonetics are concerned. I'm particularly interested in American English, though failing that any language ...
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10answers
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Is there an easy way to type IPA?

I'm currently using the virtual IPA keyboard on TypeIt, but it takes forever. Is there an easy way to type IPA? I've found this list of Unicode keyboards on SIL.org but I'm not too sure how to ...
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361 views

Are there traces of lost PIE laryngeals in Sanskrit?

I read on wiki that "Hittite retains laryngeals that disappeared entirely in Sanskrit (but left plenty of traces showing that it must once have existed). In Proto-Indo-Iranian, the laryngeals ...
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1answer
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How to differentiate between consonants and vowels on praat? [closed]

I am student of MA and i need your help to know about the praat software. i am stuck in my research in last section. If any one hear to know so i thoroughly and rigorously sorry to say and please help ...
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1answer
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Are there any constraints on how dead languages could have been spoken?

Considering written languages that we know, restricting ourselves to alphabetical languages if helpful: Can we make any general statements or assert any constraints on how a language could have ever ...
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1answer
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Why are phonemic transcriptions used in English pronunciation courses (instead of phonetic ones)?

I'm doing an English pronunciation course. There, I'm asked to pronounce, for example, the following: /i:/ In each case, I'm presented with articulatory and mouth position guidelines. However, if I ...
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How well do Semitic languages preserve consonants over time?

I'm not too familiar with the details of Semitic languages, but as far as I can tell it seems the tri-consonantal roots of words are relatively important. If the consonants change over time, did they ...
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64 views

What were the pronunciations of PIE velar stops?

What might be the pronunciations of PIE "plain velar" series *k *g *gʰ, the "palatovelar" series *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ, and the "labiovelar" series *kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ ? Was the *gʰ same as ...
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questions regarding satemisation in sanskrit

I have some questions regarding satemisation in sanskrit. why there are still k in sanskrit if pie k tunred into sanskrit s ? It seems to me that pie *kʷ turned into k in sanskrit. is that right ? If ...
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Probability based algorithm to convert IPA into english language text

For a student job i'm creating a neural network-based method of determining the probability that two written names are referring to the same person (e.g. what is the probability that kelly m. refers ...
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Are there languages where vowels are always oral?

I was surprised to find in Zsiga (2020: 120, 125) a claim (by Donegan & Stampe 2009) that vowels in Hawaiian, as well as oral vowels in French, are always oral. Unfortunately Donegan & Stampe ...
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What is the best book to learn about the linguistics features of American English (particularly phonology and phonetics) in detail?

I have a fairly good understanding of the IPA, Chain Shifts, variations within dialects but I still have troubles with lots of phonological ideas like devoicing, weird consonantal clusters tongue ...
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1answer
185 views

Are there any languages that have syllabic /w/ or /j/?

I heard somewhere that the following consonants can make a syllable on their own (i.e. syllabic consonants): /l/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /r/, /w/, /j/. Of these, I've seen /l/, /m/, /n/, /r/ that make a ...
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146 views

Vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious'

I came across a question on English Language & Usage asking about why the vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious' are pronounced differently. Harmonic → /hɑːˈmɒn.ɪk/ ...
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What is a mora?

What is a mora? I tried to read the Wikipedia article that answers this question, but found it difficult to understand. Ditto with the related LSE question: Is the concept of syllables ...
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When should one use slashes or square brackets when transcribing in IPA?

When should one use /fubar/ and when [fubar] when transcribing in IPA? What are the differences?
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Are there languages that disallow initial vowels and lack glottal stop?

Which, if any, of the world's languages have both the following features? Syllable-initial vowels are disallowed; all syllables must begin with a consonant. There is no glottal stop phoneme.
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Proof of definite beginning and ending of syllables where three or more consonants in between?

(Note: I am not sure on how to phrase this question, so if you can, please edit for clarity) So, recently a question came into my mind about whether we can actually define where syllables begin and ...
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1answer
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How should I study additional texts?

This might sound a bit stupid. I just completed phonetics and phonology from Grady's "Contemporary Linguistics". I'm still in my schools and preparing to join bachelor of arts linguistics in ...
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What do these diagrams of vowels actually represent?

I've heard many times that spoken language is subjected to variations and we never make the exact same sound when we speak, even for the same word. If that's the case, how can you be so exact about ...
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Is there a way to classify all languages that have a guttural ch (as in Achmed) sound?

Some languages, like Hebrew, Arabic, and Gaelic, have a guttural ch sound, like the clearing of your throat, as in "Achmed". What is the term for this sound and is there a term to classify ...
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Epenthesis using SPE-notation

Suppose in some language the following happens: when the stem ends in front vowels (i, e), then adding a certain suffix X requires j insertion (so it looks like [.. i j X] or [... e j X] instead of [....
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What makes East-Asian languages sound different than European languages?

I'm not sure if this is on-topic here. If I get reasonable amount of comments telling that it's off-topic, I'll delete my post. I wrote a code that generates random human-readable strings. Every other ...
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1answer
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When did the vocalic allophones of the consonant phonemes in PIE become independent vowel phonemes?

The sonants in PIE have consonantal and vocalic allophones, so the consonantal sonant and the vocalic sonant are regarded as one consonant phoneme. But many daughter languages of PIE (at least at some ...
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Why do stem-changing verbs have a vowel change in Spanish?

It may just be that I'm demonstrating my gross ignorance, but I can't seem to find a 'why' for stem-changing verbs in Spanish. I understand that there is some sort of perceived weakness in the vowel ...
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176 views

Did h2 and h3 change the phonetic reality of an adjacent *e in PIE under any circumstances?

Did h2 and h3 change the phonetic reality of an adjacent *e in PIE under any circumstances? Can we treat *a and ā as allophones of *e in PIE?
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Calabrian/Sicilian and unstressed e/o

I sorta-kinda was "taught" that Sicilian turns all unstressed "e"s to "i"s and "o"s to "u"s. Then I got to know a couple Calabrian songs whose dialect seemed almost Sicilian, so I extended that ...

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