Questions tagged [sound-change]

Systematic changes in pronunciation associated with languages and dialects. Includes segmental and prosodic changes. Sound-change is usually used in a diachronic sense and does not refer to the transient or adaptive changes of an individual.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Historical pronunciation of Hindi यह and वह

The Hindi 3rd person singular proximal and distal pronouns यह and वह are commonly pronounced [jeː] and [ʋoː], in contrast to the [hyper-correct?] pronunciations [jəɦ(ə)] and [ʋəɦ(ə)] one might expect ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Have ejective consonants ever arisen on their own?

In an old comment on another question, jlawler mentions in passing: Much the same can be said about ejective consonants -- other languages can pick them up, but nobody knows where they come from. ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

“ft” -> “cht” shift

Could you please give me a link to the information about Germanic "ft" -> "cht" shift. When it was? Do we hear "f" on the end of "enough" because of it? English German shaft Schacht German "...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Proto-Polynesian reconstruction and ambiguities in Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan and Tongan

given that: Hawaiian (H) Maori (M) Samoan (S) Tongan (T) /l/ in H S T = /r/ in M /t/ in M S T = /k/ in H why do we find words with /l/ /r/ /n/ alternations instead of the common attested /l/ /r/ ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do accents of a whole town drift?

I've heard it said that accents of towns drift over time. I find this hard to comprehend as how could an accent of a whole town change? I think it is established that we mainly pick up our accent ...
8
votes
2answers
580 views

What is the best linguistic term for describing the kw > p / gw > b change, and its usual companion s > h

Celtic, Italic, Greek and several other IE languages have a P- and a Q-variety (from kw > p and gw > b). The P-variety usually also has h for ancient s. What would be the best linguistic term for ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Is there conflict between the process of analogy in a particular sequence and the appearance of double markers?

Analogy in a particular sequence in which some elements appear frequently adjacently, can develop similarity between them, e.g. nine and ten i Russian: де́вять, де́сять. Another I think about is June ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Are bound forms in compounds more resistant to sound changes?

In English, words like cleanliness or breakfast have preserved an older vowel than those in the free forms clean and break. In Japanese, compound noun accent tends to match between dialects, even ...
6
votes
5answers
190 views

Apart from French, does any language have voicing-dependent change of place of articulation?

The outcome of Romance velar palatalization in French depends on the voicing of the consonant: Lat. ankilla → OFr. [antsele] but Lat. argilla → OFr. [ardʒile]. This is also reflected in words borrowed ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

About [s] being replaced by the voiceless postalveolar fricative in the US

I'm recently listening this replacement a lot on youtube, it's as if the practice is on the rising. Is it? what conditions such occurrence? Where in the US is it happening? And how did it all begin?
4
votes
0answers
89 views

*through* vs. *tough*: ME*-ough* /uːx/ > –? How are the sound shifts from ME -ough explained?

How is it explained that the sound sequence /uːx/ -ough has developed so differently in different words? Not-dipthongized in through, shortened and unrounded and retained fricative in tough, lowered ...
3
votes
2answers
259 views

Why does Sankr. नक्ति (nákti) not show Satemization

Did Sanskrit नक्ति (nákti) "night", PIE *nókʷts, not participate in the kentum-satem split? Why? Is it a loan? There are at least two synonyms, if that makes any difference. I have no actual reason ...
8
votes
2answers
236 views

How did Latin get its stress pattern?

As far as I know, Latin had a word-initial accent for some time of its history after losing the Indo-European accent. I am wondering why Latin then switched to an ante-/pen-ultima stress pattern.
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Homophones in Proto-Germanic

Does anyone know reconstructed homophones in Proto-Germanic or where I could look them up? I am interested in clear homophones, not polysemes.
2
votes
3answers
465 views

Are there established linguistic theories which incorporate the concept of “lazy speech”?

Motivation So on EL&U, I pretty often encounter the claim, under a question of some usage or other, that certain usages are the consequence of "lazy speakers", who "would otherwise" use some (...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Vowel Change in Europe Book

Perhaps a rogue question but my father loves languages and when on holiday in Holland was trying to tell me about the two vowel (or constant? Shifts) changes that occured, and so why English and ...
-1
votes
1answer
94 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
votes
1answer
119 views

How these close sounds are distinguished in native language

This is not a comprehensive list but just a few snippets from languages that have a few consonants that sound pretty much the same to me. I wanted to ask how I can learn to hear the difference between ...
7
votes
1answer
275 views

Why did German <d> and <t> flip over?

I speak English and Norwegian and a little German and a little Dutch and I discovered a pattern while thinking about words which are obviously cognate. The pattern is wherever English, Norwegian and ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

How did Gk. ταινία “band, ribbon” come from PIE *tn̥-yā- < *ten- “to stretch”?

AHD-IER (Watkin, 2011) P93 gives PIE *tn̥-yā- for Gk. ταινία: Suffixed zero-grade form *tn̥-yā‑. taenia; polytene, from Greek tainiā, band, ribbon. while EDG (Robert Beekes, 2010) P1444: ...
2
votes
3answers
285 views

Possible diachronic developments of th sounds

What are possible diachronic developments of th sounds? Of course, I am aware of th-stopping /ð/,/θ/ -> /d/ and of th-fronting/θ/ -> /f/. Are there other developments of ð/ and /θ/ attested in the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

What impact does it bring if the tone values of a tone language are generally lowered?

Tones in a tone language have values marked by 1 to 5. If a sound change happens by which tone values become lowered in some cases, e.g. the standard value of a tone in Mandarin is 214, while the ...
5
votes
1answer
231 views

How did Proto-Indo-European *septm evolve into English “seven”?

The PIE *septm should have changed to Pre-PG *sefθen, by the Grimm's Law. Then, by the Verner's Law, it should have changed to *sebθen. Why did the *θ disappear for the word to develop into "sieben" ...
8
votes
2answers
237 views

Why do phonemes such as /r/ and /ɾ/ evolve into uvular sounds like /ʀ/?

Forgive me if this seems vague, but this is mainly looking at the Germanic languages. Proto-Germanic probably used an alveolar of some sort, most likely a trill. In terms of Modern Germanic ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Degemination and prenasalization together: how common?

I have a couple of examples of degemination and prenasalization of the same geminate affricate/stop in Calabrian: "menzu", which should have evolved from "mediu(m)" through "mezzu", or maybe this ...
7
votes
2answers
426 views

Why does “begin” have /g/ instead of /j/ if it's from PG *ginnan?

My understanding is that the reflexes of Proto-Germanic velar consonants before front vowels were usually palatal consonants in Old English, which in turn generally yield palatal or palato-alveolar ...
0
votes
1answer
296 views

changes in sounds in Indo-European languages

Forgive me if this question is too simple/repetitive/... as I'm not familiar with technical terms. I'm looking for a good reference that's explained the changes in sounds in Indo-European daughter ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

How does English 'lodge' come from Frankish *laubija by sound change?

lodge (etymonline) (n.) Middle English logge, mid-13c. in surnames and place names; late 13c. as "small building or hut," from Old French loge "arbor, covered walk; hut, cabin, grandstand at ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Are PIE *bʰewg- “flee” and PIE *bʰegʷ- “flee” cognate?

These two verbal roots *bʰewg- "flee" and *bʰegʷ- "flee" share the same meaning and very similar forms, the only difference is their ending consonant. I wonder whether they are from a same root or ...
9
votes
2answers
353 views

Understanding the reflexes of PIE *ǵneh3- in Sanskrit, Latin and Greek

Today I was trying to reconstruct some PIE roots by myself and I came across the word for '(to) know' in different indo-european languages. Here are some examples: Eng. (to) know It. conoscere Lat. (...
6
votes
2answers
905 views

West Germanic Th-Stopping

This is just one example: In the word "father", there is the interdental voiced fricative. However, in Old English, the word is fæder with a voiced alveolar stop; it is also fader in Middle English. ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

s / h change in Indo-European languages

There are many words where Latin and Germanic begin with s– but the Greek begins with an aspirate (h–). How does this shift come about? They do not seem to be formed in the same part of the mouth at ...
4
votes
2answers
428 views

Is Brugmann's Law controversial?

The Indo-European sound change known as Brugmann's Law states that PIE *o became ā in an open syllable in Indo-Iranian. The Wiki page calls the law "controversial" and says that "Brugmann's Law has ...
7
votes
2answers
343 views

Why does French “cheveu(x)” have “eu” and not “eau”?

Many French words have lost etymological /l/. I have read that this occured due to a process of l-vocalization around the 10th-12th centuries which turned pre-consonantal l to u after any vowel aside ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How and why did so many French letters become silent?

It would seem that much ease of use must have been lost when a lot of French letters came to be silent - I never fail to be amazed that "il parle" and "ils parlent" are homophones, and it's very easy ...
8
votes
4answers
362 views

Has English caused any Languages to undergo Sound Change or Grammar Change?

French historically has caused the presence of several unique sounds in English that would not have been present otherwise. For example the "dʒ" sound in "garage". Similarly, I believe I've read ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

What factors influence the way we adapt loanwords into English?

If someone pronounces "pizza" as /piːzə/ instead of /pitsə/, we'd surely raise an eyebrow at them. But few people (that I know personally) mind when we pronounce "tagliatelle" with a hard G (I wasn't ...
1
vote
0answers
233 views

What spirantization of t is most common?

I am looking for candidates for the "most frequent" context-free spirantization of t. One almost-example is that Indo-European t became θ in Germanic via Grimm's Law. Another is that proto-Bantu t ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Arabic sin and shin sounds in Classical times

What sounds did س and ش‎ make in (early) Classical Arabic? I have heard that maybe they were not [s] and [ʃ]. Is that a widely accepted truth? If that's true, what is the evidence for that?
1
vote
1answer
507 views

Sound correspondences in Germanic languages

I've noticed that in particular germanic languages have similar base words to english of which many times the only difference is that of the vowels. This would make sense seing as to how they are ...
5
votes
5answers
931 views

Are sound changes regular?

Are sound changes regular now or not? I mean it seems to me that it's accepted that sound change is pretty regular, because of how sound changes are treated in etymology/historical linguistics. I even ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

What sound change(s) underlie [iʒ-] in São Vicente?

Is there a particular sound change that would explain changing a word-initial [ʒu] (or alternatively [dʒu]) to [iʒ] before a stressed syllable? Or might this be best explained as dropping the [u] by ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Historical Linguistics: Merging consonants [closed]

In Middle Egyptian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_language#Phonology), the /s/ and /z/ merged into one sound, but the graphemes continued to be used interchangeably. As one who is interested ...
2
votes
3answers
450 views

Voicing as lenition

Why is voicing considered lenition under phonological criteria? To me voiced consonants seem stronger in articulation, therefore voicing should be considered fortification.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Am I using the right terms in referring to “soft” and “hard” vowels and consonants?

In English, there is a clear difference between the "a" in "at," and the "a" in "father." I described the difference by saying that the "a" in "father" is "harder" than the other one. The German word ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

*sn > n (in Latin)

The older consonant cluster sn- loses its s in Latin: nix "snow" vs. English snow cēna "supper" vs. older Latin cesna Two questions: 1) Since word-medial -sn- was clearly lost within the history ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Languages showing affricate-to-plosive fortition (especially diachronically)

It is well known that consonant lenition or weakening tends to be far more common cross-linguistically than the opposite process called fortition or strengthening. Now, some languages have been ...
7
votes
1answer
377 views

What is the approximate time of the loss of the intervocalic /s/ in Greek?

Teachers of Ancient Greek at my university have always been emphasising the importance of being aware of the loss of the intervocalic sigma in the language's history, because it helped to understand ...
1
vote
0answers
128 views

Is diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ] novel or an accent feature?

I have noticed some speakers diphthongising [ʌ] as [ʌɪ]. For example, in Bea Miller’s Young Blood, she pronounces “young blood” as [jʌɪŋ blʌɪd] and “us” as [ʌɪs]. Has this been documented elsewhere? ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

How do we get “four” when it doesn't follow Grimm's law?

I understand how Grimm's law has resulted in pairs such as duo / two, tri / three, penta / five. But how do we get "four"? I looked it up in the dictionary and the IE root is ‌‌kwetwer- Why doesn't ...