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 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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What is the name of PGmc “a” / PIE “o” sound shift?

What is the name of Proto-Germanic "a" / Proto-Indo-European "o" sound shift?
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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
578 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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Do ongoing sound changes often impact L2 speech production?

I'm trying to find out whether L1 ongoing sound changes often impact speech productions in an L2. For instance, an ongoing sound change in Brazilian Portuguese (i.e. the arising of new consonant ...
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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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3answers
325 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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1answer
77 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
119 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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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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135 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
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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3answers
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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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2answers
351 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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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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1answer
190 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 ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
270 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" ...
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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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1answer
106 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 ...
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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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1answer
351 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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1answer
193 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 ...