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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100 views

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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274 views

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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435 views

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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2answers
89 views

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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1answer
156 views

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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1answer
195 views

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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1answer
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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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386 views

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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125 views

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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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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2answers
291 views

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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5answers
601 views

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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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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1answer
42 views

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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3answers
343 views

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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81 views

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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1answer
154 views

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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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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1answer
200 views

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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2answers
160 views

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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1answer
130 views

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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1answer
112 views

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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224 views

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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2k views

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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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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1answer
575 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/ ...
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
236 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?
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*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 ...
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2answers
383 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 ...
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499 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.
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1answer
184 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.