Consonant Gradation Edit

Fortis/Lenis Alternation Edit

In linguistics, fortis and lenis, sometimes identified with tense and lax, are pronunciations of consonants with relatively greater and lesser energy. English has fortis consonants, such as the p in pat, with a corresponding lenis consonant, such as the b in bat. Fortis and lenis consonants may be distinguished by tenseness or other characteristics, such as voicing, aspiration, glottalization, velarization, length, and length of nearby vowels. Fortis and lenis were coined for languages where the contrast between sounds such as p and b does not involve voicing (vibration of the vocal cords).[1]

Prevocalic Voicing Edit

The voicing of an initial voiceless consonant in a word.

Ex: “peach” /pitʃ/ is pronounced “beach”/bitʃ/[2]

Word Final Devoicing Edit

Final devoicing is a systematic phonological process occurring in languages such as German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian, among others. In these languages, voiced obstruents in the syllable coda or at the end of a word become voiceless.[3]

Fronting Edit

A sound made in the back of the mouth (e.g. a velar) is replaced with a sound made in the front of the mouth (e.g. an alveolar)

Example: tar for car; date for gate[4]

Consonant Harmony / Assimilation Edit

Velar Assimilation Edit

A non-velar sound changes to a velar sound due to the presence of a neighboring velar sound

Example: kack for tack[4]

Nasal Assimilation Edit

A non-nasal sound changes to a nasal sound due to the presence of a neighboring nasal sound

Example: money for funny[4]

Gliding of Liquids Edit

A liquid (/r/, /l/) is replaced with a glide (/w/, /j/)

Example: wabbit for rabbit[4]

Stopping of Fricatives Edit

A fricative and/or affricate is replaced with a stop sound

Example: tee for see; chop for shop[4]

De-affricatization Edit

An affricate is replaced with a fricative

Example: shop for chop[4]

Deletion Edit

Cluster Reduction Edit

A consonant cluster is simplified into a single consonant

Example: top for stop[4]

Weak Syllable Deletion Edit

An unstressed or weak syllable in a word is deleted

Example: nana for banana[4]

Final Consonant Deletion Edit

The deletion of the final consonant of a word

Example: bu for bus[4]

Metathesis Edit

Metathesis is the rearranging of sounds or syllables in a word or of words in a sentence. Most commonly, it refers to the switching of two or more contiguous sounds, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis. However, metathesis may also involve switching non-contiguous sounds, known as nonadjacent metathesislong-distance metathesis, or hyperthesis.[5]

Vowel Harmony Edit

Vowel harmony is a type of assimilation which takes place when vowels come to share certain features with contrastive vowels elsewhere in a word or phrase.

Example: A front vowel in the first syllable of a word would require the presence of a front vowel in the second syllable[6]

References Edit

  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8