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Questions tagged [phonotactics]

Language-specific rules governing the combination of phonemes.

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Is it not true that large phoneme inventories allow more syllables?

In the world of conlanging, its often said the best way to minimize the number of long words is to allow more short words. The main ways to do this is to have a large consonant inventory, liberal ...
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Were يانيه and یانیه interchangeable in Ottoman Turkish?

Copy/pasting from this official pdf from the Turkish government produces يانيه. Czech Wiki uses the same spelling. English Wikipedia and Wiktionary, however, both use the spelling یانیه. Those look ...
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Dealing with words having token-frequency 1 when calculating Phonotactic Probability

NOTE This is a repost of a question on the Mathematics StackExchange Board. It has been modified to fit this board :) I am open to suggestions Explanation I am trying to calculate phonotactic ...
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Phonotactic Parallels to Pyysalo's Laryngeal and Schwa

Jouna Pyysalo has a rather unique reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European, that he calls System PIE (documented here, amongst other places) and describes as a new form of monolaryngealism. This ...
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Universal Phonotactics Database

Is there a universal phonotactics database available online?
Georgeos Diaz-Montexano's user avatar
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What written notation is used in IPA for the letter "A" in the English words "hand", "man", "and", et cetra?

In American English, the letter "A" is pronounced at least five different ways. What written symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used for the vowel, or vowel group, shown ...
Samuel Muldoon's user avatar
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1 answer
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Italian words with post-stress -/tj/-

It is well known that Italian -/.tj/- developed into -/t.tsj/- after stressed syllables (gratiam -> grazia). There are, however, several rare words that end in post-stressed -/tj/- like "òstia&...
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Does 'z' act as a coda or onset in the syllable structure for the word crazy?

I am working on drawing the syllable structure for the word crazy. So far within kreizi, ei and i are nucliet, kr is an onset, but I am stuck on the 'z'. There are many words that start with z in the ...
Janet Stewart's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Looking for a linguistic term

I'm trying to pinpoint a linguistic concept that may or may not exist. Let's say you have a complete set of "units" (i.e., sounds/letters/moras) in a language. This can be many things, ...
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Are there languages where all syllables start with a consonant and end in a vowel?

This is a relaxed version of this question Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables? asking for strictly CV-languages. Here I want to know if there are languages with the phonology CC*VV*, ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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Word that means "a class of words that represent the output of the same phonology"?

What word do you use to describe groups of words that represent the output of the same phonology? For example, here are some words I found from looking at maps & name lists for different countries:...
Jarren_Takar's user avatar
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Why are some consonant clusters acceptable in some languages and not others and how does this change over time?

As per the question statement: is there a resource available for quickly determining which codal (or onset) consonant clusters are attested in human language? Mark Vandam’s Word Final Coda Typology ...
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How are codas before null onsets differentiated from onsets?

That is, how do people tell ...VC V... from ...V CV... in languages that have such a distinction? I haven't been able to find anything regarding this.
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Deducing syllable structure from sonority curve and phonotactics

When I take the sonority curve of `Tuesdays' (/tuzdeɪz/) I have a peak at /u/ and another one at /eɪ/. Between the two peaks I have /zd/, why should the /z/ belong to the first syllable and the /d/ to ...
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What has happened to the World Phonotactics Database?

There was a resource named "World Phonotactics Database" once located at http://phonotactics.anu.edu.au/, but this location has gone. Searching for World Phonotactics Database on the web ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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Violations of sonority sequencing principle in English

What accounts for these violations of the sonority sequencing principle in English: /strɛŋkθ/, /fʌdʒ/ (both have fricatives after stops in the coda) Wikipedia says In native English words, no phoneme ...
minseong's user avatar
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How to present affricates in onset consonant clusters

When an affricate is included in the onset of a word e.g., the Polish /ɡd͡ʑi/, is this a CCCV or CCV structure? Following this, when putting it into a syllable tree, would the affricate be two ...
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Why do Germanic languages signal stressed short vowels by writing orthographically closed syllables?

In learning spelling and pronunciation rules for English, German, and Swedish, I always assumed that Germanic languages tend to distinguish stressed short and long vowels according to orthographic ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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What the process is here?

Here is a phonological rule: -ViC(-) > -VCʲ(-), where i both /i/ or /j/; and its vice versa: -VCʲ(-) > -ViC(-). (I think that -VeC(-) is possible too). But I don't know what is the name of ...
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Consonant clusters in English - how many exist exactly?

I am really struggling to find a complete list of all consonant clusters that are possible in the English language. Can anyone point me in the direction of one? I have spent hours looking online with ...
CuriousTeacher's user avatar
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1 answer
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Pre-fortis clipping of /n/

Pre-fortis clipping is usually defined as operating on vowels. See, for example, John Wells’s blog post on the subject. But at least in my idiolect (Northern English-influenced RP), in the environment ...
Daphne Preston-Kendal's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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Mathematics of Rhyme (perfect, slant)

I have recently been working on some programming frameworks incorporating audio analysis of the English language, particularly whether words "rhyme" or not (pure rhyme, slant rhyme, etc.) ...
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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 ...
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Breaking a word down into its constituent phonemes [duplicate]

How should the nonsense word 'frabjous' be broken down into its constituent phonemes (e.g. the consonant blend -fr)? I would like to determine how this word is regular in English phonotactics.
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How do you bound a syllable / split a word into syllables programmatically?

What are the rules for bounding a syllable? I am trying to take IPA text and write software to automatically separate the syllables for the word. By trying I am still just thinking about how to do it. ...
Lance's user avatar
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Are there any attested languages with a VCV or VC syllable structure?

In Googling this question, I found out about Arrernte, which is arguably VC(C). Are there any other languages which have been argued to be a VCV language? And is there any reason why they're so rare ...
Lou's user avatar
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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 ...
Puco4's user avatar
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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 ...
Puco4's user avatar
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Why are some (coda) clusters hard to pronounce in onsets?

Consider the following examples: Fact -> /fækt/ Hard -> /hɑːrd/ Paint -> /peɪnt/ In all these words, the clusters in the coda are easy to pronounce. However, when these clusters come in the onset ...
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Are There Any Papers/Studies/Etc on Teaching L2 Learners how to Parse Speech by Teaching Them Phonotactics?

Are there any studies in which subjects are taught the phonotactics of their L2 in order to help parse words out in their target language's speech? All of the studies I have read concerning the ...
breeda1's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
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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?
user24344's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
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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 "...
skedly's user avatar
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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, ...
mt.tread's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Joe's user avatar
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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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
feetwet's user avatar
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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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
236 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: ...
István Zachar's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
539 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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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3 votes
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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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 "...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
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5 votes
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250 views

Do languages generally tend to avoid palindromic syllables?

E.g. /knank stjajts smoms/ even they do follow the Sonority Sequencing Principle
wodemingzi's user avatar
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12 votes
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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 ...
DLosc's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
Joseph's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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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. ...
Kris's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar