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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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7
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3answers
4k views

The "writer / rider" distinction

In some dialects of English (for example: General American), “writer” is said to be pronounced differently from “rider” due to the following two phonological rules (done in this order): Vowels are ...
5
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2answers
398 views

Can we simulate the pronunciation of sounds that we can't make?

There's certain non-filled places in the IPA chart because we physically can't pronounce them. For example, a velar trill or glottal trill. Using computers, is it possible that we could simulate how ...
5
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2answers
201 views

Do languages generally tend to avoid palindromic syllables?

E.g. /knank stjajts smoms/ even they do follow the Sonority Sequencing Principle
5
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1answer
927 views

Are there tonal languages which use a rising intonation for questions?

I know that in the case of Mandarin Chinese questions do not end with any kind of rising tone unless the last morpheme in the sentence happens to have a rising tone. For questions which don't contain ...
5
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5answers
573 views

How was the /j/ initial in Middle Chinese borrowed into Vietnamese?

http://nomfoundation.org/common/nom_details.php?codepoint=8d0f 贏 doanh Why does the Vietnamese pronunciation of this character start with <d>? From what I have read, this letter represented a /...
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1answer
714 views

Why Did Koiné Greek Still Write Double Letters?

Languages develop double consonants and other quirks for different reasons -- English' double consonants were originally developed because the consonants were doubled in speech, like Latin, and that ...
4
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2answers
212 views

How is IPrA going to change the way we transcribe prosody?

There are some proposals for IPrA (International Prosodic Alphabet, similar to IPA but for prosody). The meeting for IPrA (link to UCLA webpage on the topic) is planning to be held in BU in mid 2016. ...
2
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1answer
7k views

Stress rules in English adjective-noun combinations

In English adjective-noun combinations the noun commonly carries the main stress: a big HOUSE a beautiful DOG An exception to this rule are adjective-noun combinations that are treated as one unit, ...
2
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3answers
2k views

When should I use /ə/ or /ɪ/ and why does it seem like they're not used correctly?

So I'm trying to learn the vowel sounds of the IPA, and I'm looking at the words "temerity" and "moment" in AmE. What is especially confusing is that first word, where wiktionary lists the ...
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2answers
272 views

English stress, abstract analysis

I am reading introductory phonology by Bruce Hayes, in chapter 12 he proposed an abstract analysis for English stress.Based on his proposed a word like cassette has been through a process like below: ...
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6answers
751 views

Which phenomena compensate for sound losses in languages?

There is a tendency in all of the world’s languages to drop word sounds, especially unstressed syllables. One example is the word for “winter” in Proto-Algonquian, “peponwi”, which developed into “aa” ...
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2answers
668 views

Cross-linguistic association between velarization and pharyngealization

Articulatorily, velarization and pharyngealization are distinct, but they are often conflated in linguistic analyses I've seen: Conflating them is common enough, I presume, that the IPA allocates the ...
8
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5answers
297 views

Place feature metathesis

Familiar cases of metathesis involve segments changing places, but metathesis can also operate at the subsegmental level, affecting individual features. I'm specifically interested in metathesis of ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Grimm's law: what motivates stop -> fricative sound change?

I am trying to understand the sound change that brought PIE *dent- to P.Gmc. *tanth-. Grimm's law seems to be the culprit for the consonant changes: Initial voiced stop /d/ devoiced to /t/ Terminal ...
8
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6answers
7k views

Is the sound "ř" unique to Czech?

Czech has special sound which to me seems to be a voiced trilled r. It is written as "ř". Wikipedia describes it a different way: A raised alveolar trill, and uses the IPA notation [r̝]. Czech ...
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2answers
358 views

Are there languages featuring "reversed affricates" as phonological segments?

This question is inspired by the comments to my answer on this question. Are there reversed affricates, i.e., fricatives ending in a homorganic stop, attested in any language of the world? What is ...
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4answers
3k views

Is there a package for formatting phonological rules in LaTeX?

The following is a phonological rule, taken from this Wikipedia page: Is there a package or some other convenient way to format this in LaTeX?
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3answers
464 views

Rationale for diphthongs

What is the rationale for considering di-, tri- &co. -phthongs separate entities? Why aren't these sounds interpreted as sequences of a vowel and a glide? How would be linguistics deficient if ...
6
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2answers
417 views

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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1answer
1k views

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept?

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept? Consider 'syllable counting' as a task: would that be regarded as a phonetic task or phonological tasks? Would it depend on whether words are ...
5
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2answers
904 views

When did Aspirated Consonants appear in English?

As stated here : (in English) "The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, /k/ are typically aspirated when they begin a stressed syllable, becoming [pʰ], [tʰ], [kʰ] [...]" Since these consonants weren't ...
4
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1answer
161 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 ...
4
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0answers
917 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
238 views

Germanic Philology: "translate" a word from indoeuropean language to the germanic language

I'm having a philology test next week. One of the questions will be to "translate" an indoeuropean word into a germanic word, like: i.e. Agros -> germanic Akraz (i.e. "g" --> germ. "k" for Grimm's Law,...
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1answer
489 views

Is there a vowel equivalent to the bilabial approximant?

/j/ is the semivocalic equivalent of /i/, /w/ of /u/, /ɥ/ of /y/, /ɰ/ of /ɯ/, and so forth, and I've also seen /ɹ/ described as the semivocalic equivalent of /ɚ/. Considering all of this, it seems ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there any way to draw a pitch track, sound wave, and annotation in Praat?

I can draw a combination of a Sound and a TextGrid, and the combination of a Pitch and a TextGrid, but I cannot draw the combination of all three, like it appears in the editor window. Is this a ...
2
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2answers
296 views

Is vowel harmony prosodic, suprasegmental, or both?

I read that the division between suprasegments and segments is not black and white. I take this claim to have two logical entailments: There are prosodic features that are segmental. For example, ...
2
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1answer
252 views

What feature classes do ʙ r ʀ belong to?

I am unsure which features would be inclusive of trills, any information is greatly appreciated! Also, if anyone knows of a feature chart online that includes trills and could link to it that would be ...
2
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2answers
594 views

Trying to make sense of "...but voiced obstruents are not always voiced"

I came across the following phrase in a description of German pronunciation: The basic rule is that voiceless obstruents are always voiceless, but voiced obstruents are not always voiced. ...which ...
2
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2answers
271 views

Is unvoiced & unaspirated a category of speech?

I know there is 'voiced & unaspirated' and 'aspirated & unvoiced' categories of speech. I have heard there is a 3rd category. What is it?
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1answer
165 views

Recording of nonsyllabic voiceless schwa?

I'm not sure if the nonsyllabic voiceless schwa (ə̯̊ ) occurs in any natural language, but are there any recordings of it being said out there, nonetheless? I would like to learn how to say it. Maybe ...
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1answer
3k views

The difference between [h] and [ħ]

I am trying to tell the difference between [h] and [ħ]. I get the technical difference of pharyngeal vs. glottal, but I don't see how it's possible to control those two regions of your anatomy ...
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2answers
492 views

If two syllables in Mandarin have the same vowels but different tones, can the syllables be said to rhyme?

If two syllables in Mandarin have the same vowels but different tones, can the syllables be said to rhyme according to native speakers? I was tempted to ask this question about all tone languages, ...
13
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2answers
653 views

Dental fricatives for Brazilian Portuguese speakers

Whenever I observe my fellow Brazilian countrymen learning to speak English, a clear sound change pattern stands out: [θ] → [f] [ð] → [d], syllable-initial [f], syllable-final So, for example,...
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7answers
22k views

Why are consonants distinguished differently than vowels?

Consonants are distinguished normally by features like place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced/voiceless, etc. while vowels are usually distingusihed by stuff like tongue's position and ...
11
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2answers
3k views

How does the nonsense word "frabjous" conform to English phonotactics?

I am aware that this question is rather more complex than I am treating it, but I am looking for a few general rules (e.g. basic phonotactic constraints) that would lead to the conclusion that the ...
10
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4answers
886 views

Is there a comprehensive account of the development of laryngeal theory?

The laryngeal theory proposes that Proto-Indo-European contained a number of consonants that are absent in (almost) all daughter languages. Their existence was proposed (by Saussure, under the term ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Why do languages have different syllable complexity from each other?

Assuming human vocal tracts are similar and equally capable of articulating different syllable structures, why is it that languages develop different syllable complexity? Why is it that it is not ...
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2answers
1k views

Distinguishing dialects objectively: lexical sets in non-English settings

The concept of lexical set is a useful technique for differentiating accents or dialects within a language. A lexical set is a set of all words/syllables that are pronounced with the same vowel. These ...
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3answers
3k views

Dark L vs L Vocalisation

I am a bit confused about this. Question: Is this the main difference between L-vocalization and the Dark L? Vocalised L - The tip of the tongue DOES NOT touch the roof of the mouth. Dark L - The ...
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2answers
4k views

Where does the term "segment" fit in in relation to "phone" and "phoneme"?

In a recent question seeking to clarify how diphthongs relate to phonemes, another term popped up in the comments, segment. This made me wonder if "segment" is some kind of synonym for either "phone" ...
6
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2answers
202 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
266 views

Change of B > W in casual speech

I am exploring the phonological system of Kyrgyz Language. In casual speech people tend to change b > w when b occurs between two vowels or preceeds l, r, y and followed by vowel. Are there other ...
5
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3answers
582 views

What is an example of a language or dialect that contains triphthongs?

I spent some time on a research project examining spectrograms and coding vowels for speakers of American English from a few rural regions in the state of Oklahoma. I noticed that certain speakers ...
4
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2answers
452 views

How to read Spectrograms using Praat Script

I am new to Praat and trying to read the spectrograms of different sound files using these videos. I am learning to read the specrograms using the UI of Praat but I am unable to find any way through ...
4
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3answers
609 views

Can a phoneme function as an allophone?

Let's say some hypothetical language had the phones [g],[k],[ʔ],[h] and we determined /g/ to be the UR of the following allophones: /g/: [g],[k],[ʔ] But upon further examination, you may be able to ...
3
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2answers
592 views

Are there languages with the three-fold articulation place contrast dental–alveolar–retroflex?

This question How and when did some European languages acquire retroflex d and t? makes me curious: Are there any languages that have three different kinds of d's (or t's or n's or s's) exhibiting a ...
3
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3answers
671 views

Why do people from a certain region sometimes have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds?

There is a word in Indian Bengali which is "sala", but in Banladesh Bengali it is pronounced as "Hala". The "s" becomes "h" in a Bangladeshi's tongue. Similarly "Tsunami" seems to be impossible to be ...
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4answers
1k views

What do these subscripts/superscripts mean in IPA?

Here is an example of a sentence from the Glossika course in Taiwanese Hokkien: The "Phonics" line is the IPA line. (The "Typing" line is the Tâi-lô romanization; I don't know where the "...
3
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1answer
53 views

Why don't we use frequency change in ToBI?

As we know the ToBI system is designed to transcribe prosody and within it you can transcribe only High and Low prosody changes. The question is here Why don't we implement frequency change and/or ...