Questions tagged [phonology]

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

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106 views

Why does /zd-/ require more effort even though both the consonants have the same voicing?

In most language, the rule for combining consonants is that they should have the same voice. For example: in English, a word can never start with /zt-/ but can start with /st-/. It's not that /zt-/ ...
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What is the exact position of the tongue for [ n ] in these circumstances?

Hi I am an English learner, and I recently had this question about pronouncing n sound. I understand the standard way of pronouncing n sound is to put my tongue behind the top teeth, however, when I ...
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What was the original pronounciation of the Thai consonant symbols?

The Thai language 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 sound ...
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61 views

Is there a paper/ source where I can find a collection of phonological rules?

I'm aware that there are many phonological rules, but I don't have a big picture of how many there are and where I can find them. Is there a book, a review paper, a website, or any source that have a ...
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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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238 views

Do Russian-Ukrainian bilinguals or speakers immersed in both languages switch between the pair [ʂ ʐ] and [ʃ ʒ] when they switch between the languages?

In Russian phonology there are [ʂ ʐ], while in Ukrainian phonology there are [ʃ ʒ]. The two sets sound quite identical phonetically, while the articulation positions of the two sets are different. So, ...
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127 views

What is “H5” in Egyptian?

There seems to be a general consensus that classical Egyptian had four "guttural" or "H-like" phonemes: h (building, /h/), ḥ (wick, /ħ/), ḫ (placenta?, /x/), and ẖ (animal's belly, ...
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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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127 views

Are markedness and the Sonority Sequencing Principle both language universals?

I'm looking into transfer in second language acquisition, specifically on the syllable structure of other L1s transferring onto English. I'm discussing the impact of transfer as well as the impact of ...
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Approximant and vowels

Are there vowels considered as approximants, since some linguists consider /iː/ as high glide? I'm not sure of it but I remember I read an article about it.
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How to read sound change transcriptions? [closed]

https://chridd.nfshost.com/diachronica/ I don't understand what most of these transcriptions mean. I only know what #, #, and _x mean.
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Are coda obstruents a universal, or is the phenomenon that is caused by coda obstruents (vowel epenthesis) a universal?

Linguistics student confused about universals here. I'm writing a paper on vowel epenthesis, and I'm very lost with the categories of everything. Tarone (1980) claims that vowel epenthesis is actually ...
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Moraic vs Non-Moraic Codas

What determines a coda to be moraic or non-moraic relative to stress? I am a little confused about this.
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48 views

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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54 views

Expressing a phonological process happening only at morpheme boundary

If some phonological process (like gemination from here) happens only at morpheme boundary (say, only in the coda of a syllable when a certain suffix is added to the stem whose final syllable is that ...
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40 views

Expressing gemination in SPE

Is there a way to express gemination in SPE notation? Is it common/correct to say things like [+anterior] -> [+anterior][+anterior] / __ [+vowel] ?
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311 views

/t/ sound is pronounced like [ts] in British English

My question is about the sound /t/ being pronounced more like [ts] in British accent. For example, The words like Tomato, Peter, water, task, Tom, talented, take the /t/ sound is definitely not ...
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114 views

Aspiration versus C+h cluster

Since there are languages with consonant clusters and languages with aspirated consonants, in principle there could be a language that has a surface contrast between [Ch] and [Cʰ]. Word-internally it ...
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1answer
77 views

Phonetic vs phonological consonants: What is the difference?

I come across such distinctions in quite a few places such as in this Wikipedia article, Voiceless glottal fricative, where it states: "The voiceless glottal fricative, sometimes called voiceless ...
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25 views

Guessing phoneme duration for english words

Is there an existing method or dataset, which, given just a word in English (no context), could give a best guess as to how long to make each phoneme when recreating it as speech? Obviously the true ...
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388 views

/ðæs saɪd/ versus /ɡʊb bɔɪ/ - Assimilation of place versus manner

Good day I am facing a problem to distinguish between assimilation of place and assimilation of manner So in Peter R's book he said that (AOM) is much less noticeable, and he provided examples which ...
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1answer
178 views

What causes a glottal stop after some silence before a vowel?

I recently asked a question Do we pronounce the vowel at the beginning of the word with a preceding glottal stop? on the English site and received a very good answer. According to the answer on that ...
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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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112 views

Etymology of “fiamma” in Italian [duplicate]

I don't speak Italian at all, but I was a bit surprised that the word "flame" in Italian is "fiamma" (IPA: /ˈfjam.ma/) (to compare with flamme in French, flamma in Latin and llama ...
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100 views

Languages in which vowels predominate

I was thinking about the loss of hearing that can accompany aging, and how this loss can affect the ability to communicate verbally. Since the ability to distinguish consonants tend to diminish before ...
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Terminology about elongating a monothong or a diphthong by duration and tone

Which terminology is applicable when a monothong or diphthong is elongated in duration and with a slightly higher pitch? Would it be vowel breaking or fracturing or something else? Example 1 (...
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73 views

How to write these rules in features?

I was wondering how do you write these rules in features using the minimum number of features to describe the segment(s) targeted by the rule in the input. I am still super new to linguistics! Thank ...
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1answer
203 views

English speakers inserting R in French words

I teach French to people from various background and first languages, but one thing that most English speakers do (even very proficient ones sometimes) is adding R sounds in words. Saying 'droi' for &...
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141 views

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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159 views

Why are sound changes regular?

Say, there is a word that used to be pronounced [ten] but gradually shifted to [tin]. I get it. There is always variety in how people pronounce words. Throw in some population dynamics, and the median ...
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131 views

Is there a phonological division in Slavic languages as important as the La Spezia-Rimini line? If not, is there a most important partition anyway?

All divisions of Slavic languages based on phonological criteria that I have seen so far are rather minor and/or localized (e.g. spirantization (Czech, Ukrainian) or not (Russian, Polish) of g). Is ...
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987 views

What is the name of this sound change, and do we have it in English?

I'm a Persian, I'm from Iran, and I speak Farsi. Here, we have a very strange rule that we turn آ into و in informal conversations. For example: خانه = house (formal) /kh a ne/ خونه = house (informal) ...
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91 views

What part of speech is a phoneme?

I wanted to know what part of speech a phoneme might be or I wanted to know if a phoneme might be a part of speech and I wanted to know if a phoneme can be an affix. I also wanted to know what a ...
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503 views

Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate in english?

The "officially" voiceless alveolar-palatine affricate does not exist in English. But I can clearly hear it in the sentence "Ouch that hurt" (when the computer reads this sentence ...
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1answer
57 views

Looking for contrastive feature hierarchies for Irish, Manx and/or Scottish Gaelic

Where might I find ready-made contrastive feature hierarchy trees for these languages? In the case that they aren’t available anywhere online, I may need to make my own, in which case I’m looking for ...
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Evidence that ø and œ are separate phonemes in French?

Are there any minimal pairs between ø and œ or other evidence that these are separate phonemes? I have been studying French, and so far it seems like ø is found in open syllables and œ is found in ...
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125 views

How to make a sonority curve for a word where a 'syllabic consonant' is followed by a vowel or vice versa

I've learnt that the number of peaks of sonority in a sonority curve determines the number of syllables in a word. The number of syllables depend on the pronunciation. It may also be true for other ...
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51 views

Phonological parallel of a Lexical Decision Task

Lexical Decision Tasks have been used in psycholinguistics for long. It basically asks the participant if the word shown is meaningful (e.g. GIRL) or not (e.g. GISL) (ref: link). But does a test like ...
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661 views

Sanskrit consonant clusters

I thought it'd be fairly easy to find a list of Sanskrit consonant clusters online, but the last hour or so has proved me wrong. There's information out there about how to write conjoined consonants ...
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79 views

What does @ mean? [closed]

What does “@“ sign mean in phonology or historical linguistics? I saw “*@” in the context of restriction.
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166 views

Is there any reflex of initial *h₁?

It's commonly posited that all PIE roots consist of two groups of consonants, neither of which can be empty. For example, the root *h₁ed- has the groups *h₁ and *d. However, I'm not aware of any ...
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134 views

What does the double colon sign (::) mean in phonology?

What does the :: sign mean in phonology or historical linguistics? Here's an example I saw: yeri :: yatu
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177 views

What does the ◌͇ diacritic mean in the IPA?

I once saw [ʐ͇] and couldn't figure out what the diacritic meant. Any help is appreciated.
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List of major languages that can and cannot have their pronunciation generated programmatically from the spelling [closed]

Which languages can you directly convert the spelling of the word into a "standard" pronunciation? From my understanding so far: Chinese (through pinyin) Hebrew (seem to have a rigid ...
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106 views

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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I have read that in Mishnaic Hebrew, some pronounced the 6th letter as waw/w and some as vav/v What is the evidence of this?

I have read that in Mishnaic Hebrew, some pronounced the 6th letter as waw/w and some as vav/v What is the evidence of this? I see it mentioned here https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/%D7%95-vav-...
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Can languages restrict their number of distinct syllables when written by syllabaries?

Disclaimer: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. From How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?, Yoon Mi Oh's thesis counted the ...
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1k views

How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?

Note: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. I would like to find some approximate data (if it exists) comparing several languages with the number of different syllables ...
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175 views

Why are there languages that distinguish between /j/ and /i/?

Both phonemes sound practically the same, so it's understandable that there are languages such as Spanish and Italian in which /j/ shares grapheme with /i/ in diphthongs. That is, in these and other ...
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298 views

What is a markedness constraint in Optimality Theory?

Here is my answer but I'm not sure whether it is correct or put in a formal way. Could you help me see this? Markedness constraints allow the markedness of a feature based on universal principles of ...

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