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.

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Is "nea" <- "*nivis" proof that metaphonic diphthongisation occured in Romanian before the loss of intervocalic "v"?

The metaphonic diphthongisation phenomenon is said to have occurred between the 6th and 8th century. But it must have happened before the loss of intervocalic "v", though I have only one ...
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About phonological history of Middle French

Schwa in hiatus dwindled in French a few centuries ago. Compare the example "saputum > sëu > su" at Wikipedia/History of French Does anyone know WHEN this sound change occurred? I ...
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SPE-style notation for combinatory sound changes

A phonological rule describes the change of one sound into another in a certain environment. In its chapter on Attic Greek, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages, there is also a ...
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Ioticism in Greek

Are there any good theories about what motivated the pervasive ioticism that developed between ancient Greek and modern Greek? Are there any other languages that went through analogous changes? The ...
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Phonological Development from PIE to Greek

I found the following phonological development (from PIE to Greek) patterns very interesting. *kw>t / __ {e, i} (e.g., *penkwe- > πέντε) *gw>d / __ e (*gwelbhu- > δελψύς) *gwh>th / ...
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How did Gothic "𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌱𐌰𐌷𐍄𐌹" (andbahti) become Medieval Latin "ambasiator"?

I found the following etymology of the word "ambassador" on Wiktionary. From Middle English ambassadore, from Anglo-Norman ambassadeur, ambassateur, from Old Italian ambassatore, ...
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What does it mean for consonant/ vowel sound to shift?

In this site, With weak verbs, consonant sounds shift, often in the form of suffixes (endings) added onto the stem. In the case of strong verbs, the vowel sound shifts, often within the stem. What ...
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Do Polish 'rz' /ž š/ and rhotic English have something in common? [closed]

This is a bit of a silly question that will need an explanation of the background that motivates this question. Background. I met a man named Andrzej. He was called approximately An-jay /dʒ/, or ...
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Mechanism(s) as to how the pronunciations of「也」and its Old Chinese "homophones"/phonetically-derivative glyphs drifted to the modern range of sounds?

In my question https://chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/47777/meaning-of-early-written-versions-of-%E5%9C%B0-and-etymology, I learned that the modern character for "earth, ground"「地」(dì) ...
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How do we know that Avestan is sister of Vedic Sanskrit and not its daughter?

I am new here and to linguistics. Recently I have developed a passion and an interest for linguistics, but I am not familiar with it. So I got into debate with a person from India. He was claiming ...
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Words in English which elided medial 'g' or 'v' (or initial 'h' before 'l', 'n', or 'r')

What I am looking for is a list of words which in Old English either had a medial 'v' sound (spelt 'f'), which was dropped in Modern English, so words like 'head' from 'heafod' and 'lord' from '...
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Havlík's law, 3, & 4 in Czech

According to Wiktionary, the words for 3 and 4 in Proto-Slavic are *trьmi and *četyrьmi, respectively, in the instrumental case. In (current) Czech, they evolved into třemi and čtyřmi. But if you ...
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Sound Changes concerning Vowel Harmony

How do sound changes operate in languages that have vowel harmony? Do Do they change with the vowels and thus create myriad words based on the different forms that it can take on based on affixes? I ...
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How diachronically stable is release type?

Are there examples of languages completely shifting from (vocalic) release of all coda stops to, say, nasal release? I imagine substrate effects could account for some of these cases (cf. unreleased ...
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Could Old English /ea/ be a derivative from /a/?

"...This includes changes from the split between Old English and Old Frisian (c. AD 475)..." [Wikipedia] The reflex of Proto-Germanic *au is spelled ea in Old English, but spelled a in Old ...
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Evolution of [v] to [b] and vice versa

There are many examples that show that two phones [v] and [b] are related: b v Meaning Old English to New English * habban have have Middle Persian to New Persian varan baran rain Middle Persian ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why did Finnish and Sami noun-final A and I flip over?

I noticed a weird sound correspondence between Finnish and Northern Sami, and that is a list of words which pairwise end in -a or -ä in Finnish (this is the same archephoneme), and end in -i in ...
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How would've the Old Novgorodian language looked like?

I need help reconstructing the Old Novgorodian words for "earth", "hand", "bee" and "bird nest". I'm not good at linguistics at all and don't really understand ...
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7 votes
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Apparent exceptions to the sound law f -> h in old Spanish

At some point during the evolution of Spanish, several initial [f] became silent (this is represented with an h in modern Spanish). This explains words such as hacer, harina, herir and many more. ...
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Exceptions to Intrasyllabic Synharmony in modern Czech?

Studying Czech (and reading about the history of slavic languages) I encountered the concept of Intrasyllabic Synharmony, which somehow motivates the Slavic Palatalizations by explaining that the ...
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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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Has a sound change ever happened that voiced only stops in between vowels and not fricatives?

Has this ever happened? Can it happen? I'm a novice in linguistics and I'm trying to study sound changes.
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Is there any tool where I can effectively find some examples of a specific sound change in world's languages?

For example, I have once read about an example of the sound change g > dʐ. I need it now but I cannot find it. Is there anything like "sound change corpus" where I can effectively find ...
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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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9 votes
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Is anything known about the origin of the hard "g" in "guénti" in Santiago, Cape Verdean Creole?

There is a word "guénti" /'gɛn ti/ in the Santiago dialect of Cape Verdean Creole, which is used to mean "people" or "you people/you all". It clearly comes from 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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Is Ruki sound law a Satem "Rhotacism"

Is Ruki sound law a Satem variant of "Rhotacism" English PIE Russian ear h₂ṓws ухо /úxo/ sear *sh₂ews- сухо /súxo/ deer *dʰéws дух /dux/ alder h₂élis- ольха /olʹxá/ their ??? тех /tex/
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Has the development of double consonants in Latin been studied?

When one studies both Latin and Greek, one of the most prominent differences between the two is the much greater number of double consonants in Latin. While Greek does have some instances of them, ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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Is there a sound change from [ɡ] to [i] or [j]?

Is there a sound change from [ɡ] to [i] or [j]? Also, is it possible for [i] to become [ɡ] or only vice versa (as what I'm looking for). I looked for information about it on Google and it was ...
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Quantification of rate of sound change in multiple languages

This question from over four years ago never got a definitive answer, perhaps because no 'rankings' of sound change rates existed at that time. I would like to revive it (in particular for sound ...
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15 votes
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Does the letter p in a word mean that the word is not Germanic?

In Germanic languages, the p sound in Proto-Indo-European became f. I have wondered if the p sound means that the word does not come from a Germanic source. This is because words that have p in them ...
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Sound laws in Balto-Slavic and Slavic changes

What are the regular sound laws that explain the modern form of the words in baltic and slavic languages? I am aware of the centum/satem separation, which already helps to identify a lot of cognates ...
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1 vote
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F/V fronting and audible difference?

I had an idea on speech: "f fronting" and "v fronting" (its voiced counterpart). The idea is to make these sounds into labial fricatives. This is "th fronting to the next level". Could a speaker ...
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Was the "a" glyph ever used for ajV in Hittite?

As fdb mentioned in a comment: The sequence a-a is a scribal convention for ajV [in Akkadian]. Some Assyriologists treat it as a single sign with the “Lautwert” aju, aji, aja In Hittite, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Do sound changes have a preferred direction?

Considering a pair of sounds (e.g. [b] and [v], although any related pair will do), are they more likely to change in one direction, or are they equally likely to change in either direction? If sound ...
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What might explain this change in place of articulation? [closed]

I'd like to know if there's anything about /patitʰin/ that suggests itself as a reason why it might sometimes be pronounced [patikʰin]. I don't know what other words to look at to see if there's a ...
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Petwor and fedwor?

In Proto-Germanic, the word for four is *fedwor. But, in Proto-Indo-European, it was *kwetwores. In pre-Grimm Germanic times, it was pronounced *petwor. Hmm. When was this word a petwor, and why did ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Are consonants more stable than vowels?

I was trying my hand at an exercise to distinguish the different Sámi dialects (the exercise was used in the 2020 version of the Dutch Linguistics Olympiad). It gives nine words in all nine dialects ...
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Etymology of Slovene vrtnica "rose". Can it be the Slavic reflex of PIE *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”?

Slovene has a word: vrtnica (wiktionary: en, sl) meaning "rose". It resembles the known Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dʰos “sweetbriar”, which gives Persian gul "rose, flower" and Old/...
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1 vote
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When did the sound change from t in PIE to th in Proto-Germanic?

From Proto-Indo-European, the t sound sometimes changed to th in Proto-Germanic, which in turn gave English the same th sound. However, I'm not sure when this change happened. I watched a video at ...
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Is there an appendix of documented sound changes?

I believe at one point I've seen online some sort of appendix where you can look up a particular phoneme, for example, and see how it either develops in certain languages, triggers some form of sound ...
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Why do flag and Latin flagrare have similar sound?

When I was reading the definition of conflagration, I found that it was from the latin word, flagare. This word has the word flag in it, and it is cognate with the word flagrant. However, I saw the ...
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1 vote
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Why do English words comprising of one syllable and ending with a y sound with a vowel preceding it correspond to German words ending in a g sound?

Few examples: Lay-legen Day-tag (I know that the d here shifted to a t due to a sound change described in Grimm's Law) Slay-(Er)schlagen I am aware of the fact that German and English share a common ...
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How to write exceptions in sound change notation

How does one write exceptions into formal sound change notation? For example, Pre-Old Japanese seems to have undergone vowel raising of /e/ and /o/ to /i/ and /u/ respectively everywhere except at ...
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vowels (unrounded or rounded)

i have a problem with vowels (which are rounded or unrounded vowels). Can you explain how to make a decide which is vowels? And which are tense or lax vowels? Maybe have some rules or instruction or ...
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help with the sounds of words [closed]

when we concentrate on articulars sounds we don't think about how people listening to those sounds. How to decide are rounded or unrounded vowels and which are tense or lax vowels? and what clues are ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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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. ...
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4 votes
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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/ ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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