20

There is very little doubt they were pronounced: they are still pronounced in many languages other than English where they were loaned, and crucially in modern Greek; they were also spelled with those clusters when coeval Latin borrowed them. The fact you cannot pronounce them doesn't mean they cannot be pronounced... No offense, but everyone's ...


14

I'll assume you're a native English speaker. Since English doesn't have these clusters, it's difficult for an English speaker to hear or produce them correctly. But it is not impossible, and there is no reason to think Ancient Greek speakers did not pronounce them. Word initial plosive-plosive clusters are definitely possible since they occur in modern ...


6

I cited Blevins and Grawunder (2009) in a recent answer (to the question Are /tl/ and /dl/ rare onsets worldwide?), and I think that this source has some relevant things to say that I will summarize here. Diachronic absence seems "accidental" Specifically, in terms of history, Blevins and Grawunder say that Proto-Germanic lacked *tl and *dl onsets (p. 284)....


6

The simplest explanation is that Proto-Indo-European did not have words with resolute initial *tl,dl,dhl, and there were no sound changes that created such clusters in most of our dialects (there are dialects where kl became tl, but they aren't well-known). A related question is whether there is anything in the grammar of English that reflects this gap. It ...


5

"Hard to pronounce" is a popular cover term regarding phonological patterns the violate the rules of the language, and it doesn't have anything to do with overly-taxing physical movements. In this case, there is a concept of "sonority", which is a pairwise relationship between sounds and how they are ordered within the syllable, that sonority should rise ...


4

If there were some consonant than only appeared in clusters, the standard analytic assumption would be to reduce it to some consonant that does not appear in clusters, thus if [γ] only appeared in clusters and [h] never did, then we would simply assume that [γ] comes from /h/. To show that such an analysis is impossible, you'd have to have a language that ...


3

You don't "break down" words into phonemes, you first transcribe a spoken word into a language-neutral alphabet which represents how the word is actually pronounced, and then you analyze the transcriptions according to some principles of phonemic analysis to decide what phonemes are present. The first task is extremely difficult (requires extensive ...


3

It doesn't seem to be obvious that /tl/ and /dl/ are especially rare compared to other kinds of stop + liquid onset clusters, so I would be wary of phonological theories or hypotheses that assume or require this to be a fact. The best discussion that I have found so far is in "KL > TL sound change in Germanic and elsewhere: Descriptions, explanations, and ...


2

I think you need to think about the theoretical implications of what you are asking. The question presupposes that you know going into an analysis that a certain sequence of speech sounds in a language is the realization of multiple phonemes in that language. But the usual criterion for assigning phonemic status to the subparts of a sequence of speech sounds ...


1

English has very strict rules as for which syllable-initial consonant clusters are allowed and which are not. If you are a native speaker of English and don't speak any other language, this means that for all of your life you have been beginning syllables only with the clusters that English allows, you just had no experience to start syllables in any ...


1

Questions about there being "many languages" with some property are basically unanswerable since there's no contextually reasonable number that constitutes "many". Anyhow, there are quite a number of languages with VV and VVV -- basically, you just need a language that doesn't particularly care about vowel sequences. You also find CV.VV in languages such as ...


1

This depends on whether we are talking about phonology or about phonetics (you do not specify). If it is phonetics then there are lots of examples of allophones that occur only in clusters and not on their own, for example in English the unaspirated [t] in ‘stop’. But I suspect that phonology is another matter.


1

As one can see there are still words derived from it, like Тпрусё and some variations like птрути. I could ask if there are more cases if interested. In Sanskrit I'm not aware of such a phenomena. You can see my list of ligatures (=consonant clusters) at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/nagari/nW3k9-gFKao Liste-460-Rigveda-Ligaturen-Statistik-G.pdf


1

The spelling issues in this case are identical in Thai and Lao. กว่า /kwaa/ (low tone) ‘more than’ กว้าง /kwaang/ (falling tone) ‘broad’ ด้วย /duay/ (falling tone) ‘also’ ด่วน /duan/ (low tone) ‘urgent’ Here are some examples from Thai. In the first two, the [w] letter is a glide, so the tone mark goes above or slightly after it. It is part of the ...


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