Question: When Do Mergers Occur Linguistics?

What is a merger in linguistics?

In historical linguistics, mergers are defined as the collapse of a phonemic distinction by one sound becoming identical with another. As a result of this type of rephonemization, words that were distinguished by some difference in sound stop being distinct and become homophones.

Why do vowel mergers happen?

The shift causes the vowel sound in words like cot, nod and stock and the vowel sound in words like caught, gnawed and stalk to merge into a single phoneme; therefore the pairs cot and caught, stock and stalk, nod and gnawed become perfect homophones, and shock and talk, for example, become perfect rhymes.

What is a vowel merger?

merger of English /ɒ/ (or /ɑ/) and /ɔː/ – the NEAR-SQUARE merger: the merger of the vowel. in words such as beer, fear, near with the vowel in. words such as bare, fair, square.

What’s the difference between merger and shift when it comes to sounds?

Both involve the encroachment of one phoneme into the phonolo- gical space of another. If the second phoneme changes so that the distinction between the two is maintained, then the result is a chain shift. If, however, the second phoneme does not change, the distinction is lost, and a merger occurs.

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What languages have mutations?

Mutation occurs in languages around the world. A prototypical example of consonant mutation is the initial consonant mutation of all modern Celtic languages. Initial consonant mutation is also found in Indonesian or Malay, in Nivkh, in Southern Paiute and in several West African languages such as Fula.

What is Epenthesis example?

Epenthesis most often occurs within unfamiliar or complex consonant clusters. For example, in English, the name Dwight is commonly pronounced with an epenthetic schwa between the /d/ and the /w/ ([dəˈwaɪt]), and many speakers insert a schwa between the /l/ and /t/ of realtor.

Are cot and caught pronounced the same?

Words like cot /caught are both pronounced with the vowel /ä/ (side-forward). In other regions, like the Northeast U.S. and Canada, the vowels have merged and are likely pronounced as /ô/ (chin placement). For them, the words cot/caught will both be cued with /ô/.

What is the vowel sound of caught?

The American English vowel sound in (caught-caught unmerged) “caught” is often defined as [ɔ], but it’s usually an opener vowel between cardinal [ɔ] and [ɒ]. Longman’s pronouncing dictionaries transcribe the British and American pronunciations as [ɔ:] and [ɒ:], respectively, to convey this distinction.

Which are the consonants in English?

A consonant is a speech sound that is not a vowel. It also refers to letters of the alphabet that represent those sounds: Z, B, T, G, and H are all consonants. Consonants are all the non-vowel sounds, or their corresponding letters: A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y are not consonants. In hat, H and T are consonants.

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What is the history of vowels?

Your vowels were invented in Greece, giving birth to the first “true” alphabet. Watch as your new toga-clad friend turns your consonant abjad into a consonant-vowel alphabet. It’s such a useful mapping of letters to sounds that neighbor civilizations borrow it left and right.

Are cot and caught homophones?

(phonology) A phonemic merger in some varieties of English (especially American and Canadian English) in which the vowels in words such as “hot” and “doll” and in words such as “law” and “talk” are pronounced identically, making the words “cot” and “caught” homophones.

What is the southern shift?

Based on the work of Labov (1991, 1994) and Feagin (1986), it has been suggested that the Southern Shift involves changes in both the front vowels and the back vowels, with the tense and lax front vowel nuclei essentially switching places and the back vowels moving forward.

What do phonemes trigger?

When you hear human speech sounds, these sounds automatically “trigger” perceptual units in your brain/mind. These units are abstractions and are used to organize and structure the “sounds” of your native language. Phonemes are used to build words and contrast “sound unit” from “sound unit.”

What are minimal pairs in English?

In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, spoken or signed, that differ in only one phonological element, such as a phoneme, toneme or chroneme, and have distinct meanings. An example for English consonants is the minimal pair of “pat” + “bat”.

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