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Questions tagged [phonology]

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

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Phonological development of Middle Chinese 學 /hæwk/ to Mandarin xue /ɕye/

學 was /hæwk/ according to Baxter-Sagart transcription of Qieyun, and according to this wikipedia page, -æwk became /Jye/ in modern Mandarin, where J is a palatalized initial consonant. What I'm ...
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What was the original pronunciation of the Thai consonant symbols?

The Thai writing system was devised to serve two main purposes: to write Thai words and to write Sanskrit (or Pali) words. For this reason, the Thai alphabet has one consonant symbol for each Sanskrit ...
snew's user avatar
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Just how silent is the French e muet?

I know the e muet is usually considered silent. That being said, it is still often pronounced in songs and poetry (famously, in the Marseillaise). This is completely contrary to the situation in ...
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What languages use grammaticalized spoonerisms?

Here I define a "spoonerism" as the exchange of onset sounds between initially accented words in a phrase: "sh(oving l)eopard" instead of "loving shepherd" "f(ighting a l)iar" instead of "lighting a ...
Damian Yerrick's user avatar
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What is the universal set of constraints in Optimality Theory?

According to Diana Archangeli (1997) there is a universal set of constraints (CON) that is part of our innate knowledge of language. These constraints are used in Optimality Theory, such as NOCODA: '...
Danger Fourpence's user avatar
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How diachronically stable is release type?

Are there examples of languages completely shifting from (vocalic) release of all coda stops to, say, nasal release? I imagine substrate effects could account for some of these cases (cf. unreleased ...
maharadun's user avatar
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The letter <u> in Provençal: when is it [y] and when is it [œ]?

In most dialects of Occitan, the letter <u> is pronounced [y] generally. However, in Provençal it appears to be pronounced [œ] by some speakers some of the time. This wikipedia article states (...
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Do puns necessarily involve referring to two (or more) extant words?

What exactly constitutes a pun? Do the words in the pun have to both be extant, or can one be a nonce/nonsense word? — Over the years, I've heard numerous usages of "puns" where one word in the ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
530 views

Gulf Arabic vowels allophones

No matter how much I browse, I cannot find any true researcher's really precise and accurate data on the issue. Actually, I cannot find any Gulf Arabic Phonology compendium, so any help will be ...
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Finnish diphthongs and long vowels

From Reconsidering the Nganasan vowel system (Fejes 2021): One argument for the vowel sequence analysis is that Nganasan long vowels and diphthongs are twice as long as a single vowel (Helimski 1998: ...
Someone211's user avatar
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Why does Danish have more short-long vowel pairs than Swedish?

In Danish, the pair /ø/ and /ø:/ are distinguished from the pair /œ/ and /œ:/. In Swedish, the phonemes /ø:/ and /œ/ are treated as a short-long pair. In Danish, the pair /ɔ/ and /ɔ:/ are ...
Quinali Solaji's user avatar
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What's the geographic distribution of the father/bra split in American English?

In most American English dialects with the father/bother merger, the bother vowel (originally /ɔ/) unrounds, lowers, and merges into the father vowel (originally /ɑ/), with the end result being /ɑ/, ...
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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?...
LinguisticsFanatic's user avatar
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Stress bearing suffixes in Optimality Theory

Stress bearing suffixes in English words like Chinese, Japanese, cigarette, fifteen violate the non-finality constraint. Can anyone explain what other constraints outrank non-finality and allows the ...
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Does pre-fortis clipping only operate within a syllable? If not, what is its actual scope?

English is known to have a phenomenon of "pre-fortis clipping": in certain contexts, vowel and sonorant phonemes before a fortis/voiceless consonant are realized with shorter duration than the same ...
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The pronunciation of the voiced "th" in English

I speak General American English, and I pronounce voiced "th"'s in two different ways. The first, which is how I pronounce it in "the" and "father," feels somewhat like a stop; part of my tongue ...
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Where can I find auditory records of Chinese Mandarin within 1930-1970?

I am doing research on pure Chinese and I need a auditory recording made between 1930-1970. I searched for subject of anthropology in Hong Kong local library and found nothing material in auditory ...
陈鼯鼯's user avatar
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Why do English and German have relatively large vowel inventories?

Why do English and German have relatively large vowel inventories?
Robin's user avatar
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Can you provide a cheat-sheet for turning Proto-Indo-European dictionaries from the older style into laryngeal notation?

Much of the resources I have for Proto-Indo-European itself (not etymological dictionaries for other languages) either use Laryngeal notation but are limited in scope (like Wiktionary) or are written ...
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How did latin "de post" become Romanian "după"?

Wouldn't the expected result be: "dopă"? I understand that the short "e" was assimilated by the long "o" from the next word, and then /o/ -> /ə/, but why o -> u ? ...
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Is "dzeru" : "ceru" a minimal pair in Latvian?

I'm finding it a bit hard to determine the prosody of these words. I'm basically asking if "dzeru" and "ceru" are prosodically identical. If "dzeru" : "ceru" ...
string_knot's user avatar
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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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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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Are there any recent studies on vowels of PRS?

Consonants and their phenomena are well studied for PRS (Puerto Rican Spanish). However, vowels and their phenomena are less well known. Known vowel phenomena in the dialect are unstressed/final vowel ...
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The schwa in [meɪkəθ] for *maketh* in KJV English

This Wiki article seems to suggest that words like makes had lost their final syllable schwa in normal speech already by Chaucer's time (palmeres > palmers is the example they give). The rule, as ...
Simon Korneev's user avatar
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110 views

(proto-)Germanic evidence for Late Latin vowel length

I would like to find a list of borrowings illustrating the reflexes in (proto-)Germanic of Latin long and short vowels. In particular I would like to find substantiation to the standard claim that it ...
Unbrutal_Russian's user avatar
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65 views

How do people pick an abbreviation for a technical term?

Today I heard “regex,” short for “regular expression,” out loud for the first time with a /dʒ/ instead of a /g/ as I had always guessed. I felt the same experience when I first heard the abbreviation ...
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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 ...
user24369's user avatar
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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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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Is there an instructive image where I can see a spectrum and a spectrogram, side-by-side?

I’m sometimes confused about representations of speech sounds. Even if I know a spectrum is 2D and a spectrogram is 3D, and the axes are different, I often struggle to figure our what I’m looking at....
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In English, what rules govern the optimal order of nouns in a list?

For example, is noun word-order governed by a universal ranking of semantic fields, as with adjectives, or do other considerations in general English word choice and order (well-formedness of ...
Dragonsheep's user avatar
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224 views

Reviewing the evidence of the spirantization of β (betacism) in Greek

Although I understand that it is impossible to assign a specific time to any sound change in Greek, I am curious about the spirantization of voiced stops, particularly of beta. I'll present the ...
Andonis Neilous's user avatar
3 votes
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257 views

Word classes reliant on phonological form?

1) Are there any documented languages in which a certain word class corresponds to a particular phonological structure? A. CVC(VC) = Noun In Polish, the word kot 'cat' (CVC) corresponds to a ...
BorneOf's user avatar
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What are the foundational papers in computational phonology?

I'm working on a paper on the history of computational phonology. As I understand it, Chomsky & Halle's SPE acted as a catalyst for research in the field, namely by laying the foundations for two-...
fenceop's user avatar
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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 :))
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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 ...
madphoneme's user avatar
2 votes
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87 views

What is the distribution of the French uvular trill vs uvular fricative?

In French, the most common realizations of the phoneme /r/ are [ʀ] (uvular trill) and [ʁ] (voiced uvular fricative). I am able to consistently distinguish them and produce either, and I'm interested ...
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Typological frequency of sound changes; the case of s > h sound change

I was wondering how can I infer the typological "frequency" of given sound changes? How can I find out how typical is a given sound change typologically? Is there a catalogue of attested ...
Ali Koohpaee's user avatar
2 votes
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77 views

Do "chuckle" phonemes, or even non-phonemic realizations, exist in any languages?

When you try to stop yourself from laughing and fail, you make a "chuckle" sound: a stop-like release when the air from your laughter-compressed lungs, prevented from escaping through your ...
Szczepan Hołyszewski's user avatar
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What precisely is the distinction between Finnish /p k/ and /b g/?

In Finnish /p k/ are formally voiceless, but in casual speech they can become fully voiced (Suomi et al), yet they are never mistaken for /b g/. What exactly is the distinction?
Someone211's user avatar
2 votes
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Origin of vowel-h digraphs that English speakers use to represent phonemes

The majority of English speakers are not proficient in the International Phonetic alphabet or any other phonetic transcription system outside their own orthography. However, we often feel the need to ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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1 answer
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How to describe stress rules

Primary stress is on the first syllable in a word, secondary stress is on every other following syllable except if that syllable is final in the word. How to write the stress rules using features.
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L-epenthesis/allophony in unexplained circumstances in American English

I've been having trouble articulating this question, so I'm sorry if it's poorly worded. I'm a teenage English speaker from Chicago. I've recently noticed a seemingly odd allophonic possibility in ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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2 votes
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186 views

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,...
johndee31415's user avatar
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63 views

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 ...
Jay the otter's user avatar
2 votes
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79 views

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 ...
Sriotchilism O'Zaic's user avatar
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0 answers
54 views

Is there a principled reason behind differing compound verb stress in English?

Is there a principled difference between compound verbs in English with stress on the first root and those with stress on the second root? First root stress compound verbs: Dropkick Spoonfeed ...
user28639's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
91 views

Andrea Bocelli Aspiration

I have been listen to Andrea Bocelli's songs lately. A noticeable feature of his pronunciation while singing Spanish songs is that he constantly pronounces the plosives (especially at word-initial ...
fieryslug's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

Do we have an Intonation "etymology"?

Recently I was thinking about a language I'm currently learning and its similarities with my own native language. While I assume grammar to change considerably depending on language it came to mind ...
armatita's user avatar
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What are some authoritative Vietnamese Dictionaries? …and how do they disambiguate the two pronunciations of <gia>?

What are some authoritative Vietnamese dictionaries? …and how do they disambiguate the two pronunciations of <gia>? (Something with an English or Chinese gloss is preferred.) Wikipedia on the ...
Kevin Li's user avatar
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