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Questions tagged [semivowels]

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4
votes
2answers
112 views

What is the nature of the distinction when a semivowel is surrounded by its corresponding vowel?

I've searched the site a bit for this topic, and I recognize that there's quite a bit of variability about the classification of phones like [w] and [j]. My primary understanding comes from Catford's ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the phonetic and phonemic destinction between a semivowel and a vowel?

I have read several articles that claim that phonemically, /j/ and /i/ are the same and distinguished from each other by being syllabic or not. What confuses me is that I can hear the difference ...
2
votes
3answers
243 views

What's up with the letter W?

English is an interesting and incestuous mangling of stuff. I sometimes think about W and it is a pretty interesting letter with much mystery and intrigue. In French, oui begins with a W sound, yet ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Consonant symbol representation for /o̯/?

Specifically, what's the consonant symbol equivalent for the glide/semivowel /o̯/, like how /i̯/ is equivalent to /j/?
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Swahili stress with two vowels in a row, how does it work?

I'm uncertain how stress works with two vowels in a row, so I used a regex to grab some words out of a small learner's-dictionary, and then make the two possible stress-patterns after each entry, ...
5
votes
2answers
265 views

Can a vowel be a consonant?

So, I know there are certain consonants in the IPA that have vowel-like properties, and can therefor be used as vowels, such as [n], [m], and [l]. Examples include [pnt], or [ʒlf]. So, in the loosest ...
2
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Lao orthography: ວ as part of consonant cluster or part of diphtong and placement of tone marks

Lao is a little underdocumented compared to other languages, both in terms of actual linguistics and in terms of prescriptive norms. There is a semivowel letter, ວ, which has a few roles: Consonant /...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How is Sanskrit “va” supposed to be pronounced?

I'm confused as to how I'm to pronounce Sanskrit's "v" letter. My teacher mostly pronounces it as a "w" in words such as "deva", "svara" or "dvipa" but invariably utters a "v" in syllables "vra" or "...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between production of vowels, diphthongs and semi-vowels

I am studying speech recognition by Lawrence Rabiner's book. I am unable to find a proper and easy to understand answer for the following question : Difference between production of vowels, ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the difference between a diphthong and a glide?

It's easy for me to imagine the difference, but hard for me to conceptualize it. I guess one involves two vowels and the other involves a consonant, right? Am I on the right track, or is there a more ...
4
votes
2answers
300 views

What's going on when I hear people pronounce Georgian “ვ” like “w” instead of like “v” as it always seems to be defined?

The sixth letter of the Georgian alphabet is ვ and all the resources I have describe it as being like English v or IPA [v]. But especially in the common word ნახვამდის (goodbye) the ვ sounds a lot ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there semivowels besides /w/ and /j/ and which are most common?

In the languages I'm familiar with I can't think of any cases of semivowels other than the "w" and "y" sounds /w/ and /j/. So are there any others and if so, which are most common beyond these two?