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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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/Middle Iranian ...
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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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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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67 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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351 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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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 (...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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: ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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" ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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319 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. (...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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471 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.