Questions tagged [phonotactics]

Language-specific rules governing the combination of phonemes.

7
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3answers
160 views

Why isn't intervocalic /ŋ/ analyzed as an onset in English?

I think that sɪ.ŋɪŋ does not seem too unreasonable as a syllabification of the word singing, so I'm a bit puzzled why that option for the syllabification of intervocalic /ŋ/ seems to be dismissed in ...
0
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2answers
64 views

phonotactics borrowed from polish to fit in english

Three different ways an English speaker might make the borrowed Polish place name Szczebrzeszynie fit within English phonotactics?
10
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1answer
813 views

How to split IPA spelling into syllables

First, please forgive my ignorance, I'm completely new to linguistics. Given the IPA spelling for word, is it possible to programmatically split it into its sounds? So, for example, given the word "...
3
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2answers
254 views

Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

I have this simple question on Kiswahili, a Bantu language. As you know in english, we can not always define morae. it's completely different from Japanese morae system. But when I learn Swahili, ...
9
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1answer
180 views

Are /tl/ and /dl/ rare onsets worldwide?

Onsets of stop+liquid are very common, but it seems like /tl/ and /dl/ are much rarer than other stop+liquid onsets, like /gl/ or /pr/. Are /tl/ and /dl/ especially rare compared to other stop+liquid ...
3
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2answers
172 views

Is there a “maximal coda principle”?

The "maximal onset principle" says that, in many (most) languages, consonants will attach to a syllable onset rather than a coda when given the choice. For example, "walking" /wakɪŋ/ in English is ...
1
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1answer
98 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 ...
11
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5answers
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 ...
1
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3answers
89 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: ...
-1
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1answer
75 views

How complex contour tones get in languages

So I have seen a few tonal languages, such as Thai, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese: I'm not too familiar with which other languages have tonal features. But I'm wondering if there are any ...
2
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2answers
507 views

Why English is missing some phoneme sequences (/aʊv/ or /aʊp/)

Wondering why English is missing some phoneme sequences. By that I mean, I understand English doesn't have some more typologically unusual phonemes like /χ/, but I'm wondering about sequences of ...
0
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2answers
144 views

The breakdown of the word “strength” or “cheap” or “sheep”

So it turns out that sometimes consonants in a sequence can be called single consonants (e.g. d͡z), or consonant "clusters". But the main reason for calling d͡z a single consonant is because it "...
0
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3answers
471 views

List of vowel and consonant sequences across languages

Wondering if there is any sort of list either across languages or for individual languages, either complete or partial, that list the sequences of vowels and/or consonants used in that language. If no ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Are contour tone system and complex consonant clusters compatible in phonotactics?

Are there any language that have both of these characteristics? I am not sure but I assume that contour tone is unnecessary and uneconomical to be used in every syllable of a language with complex ...
5
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2answers
164 views

Do languages generally tend to avoid palindromic syllables?

E.g. /knank stjajts smoms/ even they do follow the Sonority Sequencing Principle
10
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2answers
1k views

Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables?

In my research online, I have found a truism that CV is the most basic syllable type cross-linguistically, and is in fact present in all languages. Other syllable types are not present in all ...
2
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2answers
130 views

Wellsean Syllabification and Recapitulation Symbols in the LPD

Those of you who deal with phonetics and phonology of English, and perhaps other languages as well, will surely have read John C. Wells’s article “Syllabification and allophony”, which you can find ...
1
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1answer
93 views

Explain ㅎ being silent in Korean language

A: Between vowels, /h/ may either be voiced [ɦ] or become inaudible or disappear often. B: Intervocalically, it is realized as voiced [ɦ], and after voiced consonants it is either [ɦ] or silent. ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Japanese kun'yomi with final N? [closed]

It is thought that the moraic post-vocalic consonant [N], spelt with ん, appeared in Japanese under the Chinese influence, with the influx of borrowings. Are there any kun-readings in Japanese that ...
7
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3answers
313 views

Why is 't' sometimes pronounced like 'ch'?

Why is the 't' pronounced like 'ch' sometimes or even like "t+sh"? Do the English phonotactics allow for a word to start with "ch+r" ('ch' as in 'chair', not as in 'Christmas')? This doesn't appear ...
3
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1answer
118 views

Are there any languages that use rapidly repeated or stammered/stuttered sounds for differentiation?

Ignoring languages such as spanish that distinguish between /ɾ/ and /r/, as such is not what I refer to, are there any languages that would differentiate between say, /p/ and /ppp/. It is a weird ...
1
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2answers
176 views

Do a classification of words with two or more stressed syllables exist?

In phonology, words can be classified according to the position of the stressed syllable: An oxytone word is a word stressed in the last syllable. A paroxytone word is a word stressed in the second ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Is it possible for a word-initial vowel to not have a glottal stop before it?

I am not understanding how a word can begin with a glottal stop? Is it a glottal plosive? I guess I am trying not to outright ask why is it not called a glottal plosive. When I say some words that ...
3
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2answers
412 views

English onsets with /s/ and sonority hierarchy

Why are clusters such as /sk/ (as in sky), /st/ (stop), and /sp/ (spill) allowed as onsets in English? The sonority decreases in these clusters and does that not violate the phonotactic rules? On a ...
5
votes
2answers
386 views

Can a syllabic consonant exist between two vowels?

I think it would break the sonority principle, but. Who knows... I was thinking on a similar thing to semivowels, it seems they are only possible between vowels, if there is one between two consonants,...
2
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1answer
118 views

Letter switching? “r” and vowels switching

This is something I don't think is worthy of a question, but it is something I noticed happening to me, and I was curious if there are any other cases. For me for somereason I have begun switching my ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Is there a language that uses some kind of second layer traits (signs of a two-dimensional character)?

I've just read about the Saussure's second primordial principle that states that language is linear. This is sometimes interpreted as the notion of one-dimensioness of language. The second dimension ...
3
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2answers
137 views

Can R sound follow a schwa in a syllable?

Let me ask a question of an usage of schwa as a phoneme and [r]. This [r] is the sound which is used in English and generally expressed with R and not [r] expressed with IPA. Schwa can be regarded ...
1
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1answer
169 views

Modern IE languages which do not permit consonant cluster at the begining of syllables

and also please guide me how to acquire such information from online linguistics resources (for example WALS.info).
2
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1answer
59 views

Density of possible encodings (given available phones and phonotactic rules)

I'm curious about languages with many phonemes and loose phonotactic rules (perhaps some Caucasian languages) versus those with only a few phonemes and strict phonotactics (like Hawaiian). I think the ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Semitic (Afroasiatic?) Root Constraints

What is known about the phonological constraints limiting the form of a Semitic (or even Afroasiatic) root? In other words, are there any limits to the possible sequences of radicals? For example, ...
3
votes
2answers
373 views

Ending a word in a stressed “h”

I am a native English speaker, and as far as I know, my language has no words that end in a stressed h sound. So, I'm creating a conlang, and I thought about putting one at the end of a word, but I ...
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1answer
415 views

Can someone please explain the basic principles of optimality theory?

i am struggling to understand optimality theory. I want to make a research paper on the definiteness system in my dialect using that theory? plz help me
3
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1answer
588 views

“oo” in “poor”, “door” and “doom”

These three words (as well as many other, these are just examples) are all spelled with double "o", so I guess all of them were pronounced with long /oː/ before the Great Vowel Shift. Is that correct? ...
2
votes
1answer
348 views

Which Romance language has the simplest phonotactics?

I have decided to give my latest conlang romance vocabulary, but I want the phonotactics of this language to be as simple as possible and yet still be recognizably Romance. (I don't generally spend a ...
6
votes
1answer
229 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.
5
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1answer
186 views

Cross-linguistically, how do syllabic consonants interact with morae?

I've read a bit about the moraic system found in Japanese, but as there isn't much complexity in the case of its syllabic consonants, I am left with a few questions. 1) Are there any natural ...
4
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1answer
140 views

Is there a phonotactics hierarchy?

For example, Japanese is (C)V(N) [plus that geminated stops across syllable boundaries thing], while Mandarin is (C)(G)(V)(G)(/n/ or /ŋ/) and Polynesian languages are just (C)V. Is there a gradation ...
8
votes
3answers
421 views

How is an intervocalic “g” pronounced in Andean Spanish?

It seems that at least in the Andes, a lot of people say e.g. [awa] for "agua"[agwa]. What's the phonological rule behind this? Is it really [w]? Why did this happen in the first place?
6
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1answer
289 views

Can a syllable be open before a lenghtened consonant?

This thread (related to this problem) can be split into two questions, the first one being restricted to Ancient Greek, the second one being more general. (1) Let's be, by example, two syllables, the ...
6
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2answers
309 views

What determines how natural a word sounds in a language?

What features of a word make a word sound natural in a language. For instance in two made up words 'mobify' sounds more natural in English than 'jlkrtz'.
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8answers
1k views

Is there any proof that diphthongs exist?

I was always taught that a word contains as many syllables as it has vowels. By definition, a vowel is a sound that produces a syllable. On the other hand, in English phonology, by definition, ...
5
votes
2answers
967 views

Is there a general tendency among East Asian languages toward simple syllable structure?

I've noticed that several languages of East Asia and the Pacific islands like Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian, have much stricter rules governing phonotactics than languages in other parts of the ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Korean syllable-final ㅅ in Hangul transcription of loanwords

Why are English loanwords ending in /d/ or /t/ systematically transcribed into Hangul syllables ending in ㅅ rather than ㄷ? This seems strange, since when ㅅ is followed by a vowel, the coda is realised ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the syllable structure of a word with an affricate in the onset?

If a word has an affricate in the onset, let's say /ts/, along with another consonant, let's say /k/, to make a word like /tski/, is the phonotactic syllable structure of this word CCV or is it CCCV?
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2answers
1k views

How could one generate gibberish that mimics a specific language?

If given a list of languages the listener was able to understand or classify, how would you generate textual output using a standard phonetic alphabet, for example IPA, that would sound like a ...