11

It is almost true, in the sense that there are nearly no cases of ejectives unambiguously developing and clearly without external influence. There are two good candidates, though: Yapese and Waimoa. Ethiopian Semitic development of ejectives can be attributed to contact with Cushitic, and Nguni ejectives to contact with Khoisan. However, it is also possible ...


8

In theory, yes. Tashlhiyt Berber is said to have a contrast, but that does not mean that there are any minimal pairs. That article points to literature, saying that it is generally agreed that they are different. However, the article slightly undermines the claim by noting that [kw] and [kʷ] differ in terms of syllabification: which (potentially) means that ...


5

Basically you're asking if each of these distinctions is phonemic in any language. Here's a partial answer: k q Arabic and Biblical Hebrew ɲ ŋ Swahili, Mapos Buang n ɳ Sanskrit ŋ ɴ This distinction is rare, but occurs in Mapos Buang ɡ ɢ This is an even rarer distinction d ɖ Sanskrit β v Also rare, but occurs in ...


5

You can self-answer your questions by using the simple interface to the UPSID database. You can play with the query interface (it is not really tuned to find pairs of given sounds, but you can search for languages having at least two consonants with the common features (voiced stops, voiced fricatives, nasals, etc) and skim through the results, or you can ...


5

A long question! Here is a partial answer. Most languages that have /q/ also have /k/ as a distinct phoneme. As you’ve suggested, the distinction may be realized in part on surrounding sounds: uvular consonants like /q/ tend to lower high vowels and back low unrounded vowels. A velar/uvular distinction is uncommon for voiced consonants, fricatives or ...


4

An archiphoneme is employed when a surface phone (which has a definite phonetic value) could derive from a number of underlying sounds /x,y,z/ and there is no contrast between these segments in that environment. For example the question suffix of Turkish appears on the surface as [mi, mu, my, mɨ], and rather than arbitrarily select a specific phoneme as ...


4

I'm going to take a guess that what your professor meant by "widely scattered" is referring to the location of the articulation of the vowel in the mouth, and not geographically. The reason for this is because it's easier to contrast vowels that are articulated far from each other than to contrast vowels that are articulated near each other. Take, for ...


4

Just because a language contrasts two sounds, doesn't mean there should be minimal pairs (cf. English /h/ and /ŋ/). The IPA uses a plain w to symbolise the [w] sound (war) and a superscript ʷ for labialisation (i.e. secondary articulation). There's a constriction at the velum for w, but ʷ doesn't have any constriction at the velum, it's simply the ...


4

Thai can be what you are looking for. It has onset clusters /kw/, /kʰw/. Quite often, they are realized as labialized velar consonants /kʷ/, /kʰʷ/. However¹, final stops like /-k/ are accompanied by a simultaneous glottal stop, thus making syllable boundaries well defined by intersyllabic juncture. This prevents any C-to-C coarticulation and ...


3

Tok Pisin and East African (Kenyan, Tanzanian) English both have the 5-vowel systems /i u e o a/, and no vowel length contrast, both features of Swahili.


3

An archiphoneme is really not a phonetic entity. Trubetzkoy distinguished his archiphoneme from its surface manifestation, which he called the archiphoneme representative (Vertreter). However, there is a natural phonetic representation available for the typical case where the phonemes which are neutralized have all the possible values for some phonetic ...


3

The best resource on this question is the WALS map, which calls into question the claim. Before calling it into question, we'd need to determine what the actual claim is, in particular what makes a distribution "wide" versus "narrow". Theoretically, I guess, we could take the land areas of the planet, straighten out any curves, impose a grid of the area, and ...


2

Gemination of consonants (and long vowels) as a sound phonologically distinct from single consonants (or short vowels) is a feature common to many languages. Here is a selection of minimal pairs of words distinguished by consonant length: Cairene Arabic حَمَام /ħa.maːm/ "dove; pigeon" حَمَّام /ħam.maːm/ "bathroom" Note: some pairs of ...


2

There's an Australian language Lardil that has both of the features the OP is asking for: there's no phonemic glottal stop, in fact, there are no glottal consonants each syllable starts with a consonant (there may be exceptions, but I don't think there are any in Lardil)


2

As reported by Lin (1977) (Phonology 14:403-436), there is no glottal stop and no initial vowels in Piro. If you can get Thargari Phonology and Morphology (T. Klokeid 1969, Pac. Ling. Series B #12), you can confirm or deny whether that too is an example.


2

There are many languages that wouldn't permit a sequence like /t/ + /ʃ/ because it involves either coda /t/ (in the case of heterosyllabic /t.ʃ/ or a tautosyllabic stop-fricative complex coda /tʃ./) or a stop-fricative onset cluster, and it's not that unusual for a language to ban both of these things, while still allowing affricates like /t͡ʃ/ to occur as ...


2

English is a prime example, but that is a matter of analysis. One problem with the question as asked is that it mixes alphabets, contrasting tS (IPA tʃ) and č. The letter č is not IPA, so to normalize the letters into IPA, the question would presumably be about the cluster t plus ʃ versus the single segment t͡ʃ. Polish czysta and trzysta, sometimes ...


2

You can search for the segment [tʃʰ] at Phoible and get quite an impressive list of languages having it. Clicking on Mundari as a randomly chosen example confirms that it contrasts with non-aspirated [tʃ] in that language.


2

There is not such a site. Also, a site might have a list but a language doesn't have a list. Maybe you mean that the language has phonemes, which you could put in a list. All spoken languages have phonemes (signed languages have cheremes). We know the phonemes of e.g. many dialects of Finnish; we do not know any of the phonemes of Sentinelese (we don't know ...


1

Sanskrit, and most other Indian languages, have (at least in the script) a four-way distinction of c - ch - j - jh. I would have to rummage a bit in the dictionary to establish minimal pairs.


1

There is no database that provides that information for more than a handful of languages. You would need (1) an accurate list of phonetic segments systematically used in a language, for many languages (we don't have that) and (2) phonological analyses of those languages (such information is spotty, but generally in better shape than phonetic details). ...


1

First, a word about what a phoneme is: a phoneme is "a sound" which a language uses as one of its primitive elements for constructing utterances. For instance /p/ in "paper, spit". It turns out that there are physical differences between the three kinds of p in those words, and those physical differences are excluded when coming up with the list of phonemes ...


1

It is mainly a consequence of basic statistics: Languages with an average¹ vowel inventory are also the most frequently occurring languages, the distribution thins out very quickly towards the more extreme values. And the most frequent type of languages tends to be found "everywhere" or "geographically spread out" while more extreme types tend to form ...


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