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15 votes

Why isn't the American r considered a vowel?

Many phonologists do consider "r" in "girl" to be a vowel, I being one. There are many reasons for people to consider it to not be a vowel. First, in "rabbit", nobody ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Do the qualities of a vowel determine its semivowel’s place of articulation?

Yes, fundamentally and inextricably. One of the weaknesses of the International Phonetic Alphabet is that it has entirely separate and unrelated ways of describing the articulation of consonants and ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
9 votes

What is the difference between a glide and a semivowel?

No. In the vast majority of contexts, glide and semivowel are synonymous. See e.g. Ladefoged & Johnson (2015: 191), Rogers (2000: 184), Ball & Rahilly (1999: 51). Definitions of glide that ...
Nardog's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is there any other language containing the sound of the "evanescent l" in Venetian?

The Wiki page on Venetian proposes that it may be phonetically [ɰ], also Ø, but that does not match the Forvo sample which is closer to [j]. In lieu of a solid phonetic study, it's not really possible ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
9 votes

What's up with the letter W?

Don't take spelling too seriously, it's often conventional and arbitrary. Language is primarily a spoken thing rather than a string of written letters. Don't confuse sounds (phonemes) with their ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What's up with the letter W?

"W" developed as a standard, distinct letter by about the 17th century, taking its sweet time getting there. It is the result of standardizing a ligature of "vv", ramming the letters together. Bear in ...
user6726's user avatar
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8 votes
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Are semivowels pronounced differently than vowels?

There are a few different and mutually incompatible definitions of "consonant" and "vowel". One is, like you said, that vowels have no friction. But what about approximants like [l] or [ɹ]—or, for ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.8k
8 votes

Does any living language contrast /kʷ/ and /kw/?

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 ...
user6726's user avatar
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6 votes

Why does PIE *sneygʷʰ- ("snow") give L. nix, Gk. νίφα (acc.)?

The PIE form you cite is the accusative singular, not the nominative singular. The PIE word is *snéygʷʰs ~ *snigʷʰés. Note that as this is an athematic noun it is necessary to cite both the nominative ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,785
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between [j w] and [i̯ u̯]?

There's not necessarily any difference. One of the weaknesses of the IPA is that it considers consonants and vowels totally separate things and describes them with totally separate parameters. This ...
Draconis's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can a vowel be a consonant?

A vowel has two closely related but inequivalent definitions. One of them looks what's happening in the mouth etc. Vowel is a sound in which the tongue doesn't touch anything and there's no build of ...
Luboš Motl's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Swahili stress with two vowels in a row, how does it work?

From an orthographic POV, stress is on the second to last vowel of the word ([púa] "nose", and if there is only a single orthographic vowel but there is an NC sequence before the vowel, the stress is ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

Does any living language contrast /kʷ/ and /kw/?

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 ...
Mellifluous's user avatar
  • 1,389
4 votes

Does any living language contrast /kʷ/ and /kw/?

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 ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes

What is the difference between a glide and a semivowel?

The term "glide" is used to include [h,ʔ], but the laryngeal glides would not be called semivowels. If you consult the IPA chart, you will see that neither "glide" nor "...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

Do the qualities of a vowel determine its semivowel’s place of articulation?

This is true by definition, although there is a terminological shift in some usages. The official IPA term for [i] is "close front unrounded vowel". Semivowels are non-syllabic "close&...
user6726's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Are there any languages without Semivowels?

There is a minor terminological distinction between "glide" and "semivowel", in that "glide" includes the laryngeals [h, ʔ, ɦ] which would not be called "semivowels&...
user6726's user avatar
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3 votes

Is there any real phonemic distinction between semivowels and their vocalic counterparts?

In Latin there is qui (nominative singular) and cui (dative singular), presumably something like /kwi/ and /kuj/ respectively.
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.2k
3 votes

What is the nature of the distinction when a semivowel is surrounded by its corresponding vowel?

If you do strictly go by the first paragraph's understanding of [w], [wu] should be a somewhat longer version of [u], having whatever its reduced duration is plur that of [u]. It is not false to say ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

What is the phonetic and phonemic destinction between a semivowel and a vowel?

An article that claims that /j/ and /i/ are phonemically the same and distinguished from each other by being syllabic or not is either very confused about the concept of "phoneme", or doesn't know the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

How is Sanskrit "va" supposed to be pronounced?

There is interesting research that the switch from hunter-gatherer to agriculture changed the jaw alignment creating an overbite that made the labio-dental consonants "f" and "v" a ...
Freedom 's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Consonant symbol representation for /o̯/?

There is no simple IPA letter for [o̯] (or /o̯/). You can see the complete chart of IPA symbols on the following website: http://www.internationalphoneticalphabet.org/ipa-charts/ipa-symbols-chart-...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
2 votes

Swahili stress with two vowels in a row, how does it work?

In words that are stressed regularly, the stress will be on the second last orthographic vowel or on a syllabic nasal if it is the second last syllable. (Unless the morpheme is only two syllables, as ...
Imralu's user avatar
  • 135
2 votes

What is the nature of the distinction when a semivowel is surrounded by its corresponding vowel?

I think Catford has in mind the phonetician's distinction between a sound with a steady state and a sound without a steady state, the latter being a glide. Looking at the sound spectrograms ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes
Accepted

Is it useful to render French /i y u/ and /j ɥ w/ as allophones?

It is in fact proposed, in Schane (1968) that French glides derive from vowels. Morin (1971: "Computer experiments in generative phonology: Low-level French phonology") pursues this further ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes

Do all semivowels have vowel equivalents, and vice versa?

It really depends on what kind of theory (of what?) you are using. In phonology, feature theory (generic theory, there are many specific theories) provides one kind of answer and makes it somewhat ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
2 votes
Accepted

Is ʕ̞ equivalent to the semivowel articulation of ɑ?

It is not true, Ladefoged & Maddieson do not make that claim there or anywhere else. If you found such a Wiki page you could check the history to see who made up this attribution (it's always best ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Is it useful to render French /i y u/ and /j ɥ w/ as allophones?

/lu.ua/ (loup où ah) is not the same as /lu.a/ (loua). If you want to avoid /lwa/ for loi, you would want to use the non-syllabic diacritic: /lu̯a/ or a lower or upper tie bar /lo͜a/ /lo͡a/ to make ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 240
1 vote

Epenthesis using SPE-notation

There are three subparts to this question. First, the general form of a rule of insertion is Ø→[...]/X__Y. Second, the conditional part of the rule is "w if precede by a back vowel, j if preceded ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
1 vote

Is there any real phonemic distinction between semivowels and their vocalic counterparts?

The conventional phonological difference between the glides [j,w] and [i,u] is that the former is a consonant and the latter is a vowel, in the sense of "not a syllable peak" versus "is ...
user6726's user avatar
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