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Encyclopedia > Consonant cluster

In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. In English, for example, the groups /spl/ and /ts/ are consonant clusters in the word splits. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Some linguists argue that the term can properly be applied only to those consonant clusters that occur within one syllable. Others contend that consonant clusters are more useful as a definition when they may occur across syllable boundaries. According to the former definition, the longest consonant clusters in the word extra would be /kst/ and /str/, whereas the latter allows /kstr/. The German word Angstschweiß (cold sweat) is another good example. A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ...

Contents

Consonant clusters crosslinguistically

Languages' phonotactics differ as to what consonant clusters they permit. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Many languages do not permit consonant clusters at all. Maori and Pirahã, for instance, don't permit any more than one consonant in a row before another vowel must appear. Japanese is almost as strict, but it allows clusters of consonant plus /j/ as in Tokyo, the name of the capital city. A great many of the languages of the world are more restrictive than English in terms of consonant clusters: almost every Pacific island nation's language permits either one-term clusters or slight variations on a theme. Tahitian, Fijian, Samoan and Hawaiian are all of this sort. Standard Arabic does not permit initial consonant clusters, or more than two consecutive consonants in other positions. Finnish has initial consonant clusters natively only on South-Western dialects and on foreign loans, and only clusters of three inside the word are allowed. Most spoken languages and dialects, however, are more permissive. Māori (or Maori) is a language spoken by the native peoples of New Zealand and the Cook Islands. ... The Pirahã language is a language spoken by Pirahã people of Brazil. ... Pacific redirects here. ... Tahitian, a Tahitic language, is one of the two official languages of French Polynesia (along with French). ... The Hawaiian language is an Austronesian language that takes its name from that of the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. ... Arabic ( or just ), is the largest member of the family of Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic. ...


At the other end of the scale, the Kartvelian languages of Georgia are almost unbelievable in terms of the consonant clusters they permit. Clusters are noted in Georgian of four, five or six terms are not unusual - for instance, brt'q'eli (flat), mc'vrtneli (trainer) and prčkvna (peeling) - and if grammatical affixes are used, it allows an eight-term cluster: gvbrdγvnis (he's plucking us). Consonants cannot appear as syllable nuclei in Georgian, so this syllable is analysed as CCCCCCCCVC. Some Slavic languages such as Slovak may manifest formidable numbers of consecutive consonants, such as in the words štvrť, žblnknutie, but the consonants /r/ and /l/ can form syllable nuclei in Slovak, and behave phonologically as vowels in this case. Some Salishan languages exhibit long words with no vowels at all, such as the Nuxálk word xłp̓x̣ʷłtłpłłskʷc̓: he had had a bunchberry plant. It is extremely difficult to accurately classify which of these consonants may be acting as the syllable nucleus, and these languages challenge classical notions of exactly what constitutes a syllable. Celtic languages, especially Gaelic spoken in Ireland, Mann and Scotland are have long and complex clusters. Outside the Indo-European languages, many of the indigenous languages of the American continents have long consonant clusters. It has been suggested that Kartvel be merged into this article or section. ...  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup... The Salishan (also Salish) languages are a group of languages of western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. ... Nuxálk (also Bella Coola) is a Salishan language spoken in the Canadian town Bella Coola, British Columbia by approximately 20-30 elders. ... A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ... The Celtic languages are the languages descended from Proto-Celtic, or Common Celtic, spoken by ancient and modern Celts alike. ... Irish (), a Goidelic language spoken in Ireland, is constitutionally recognised as the first official language of the Republic of Ireland, an official language of the European Union, and has official recognition in Northern Ireland as well. ... Look up Mann in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Motto: (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots2 Government  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I 843  Area    - Total 78,772 km... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ...


Consonant clusters in loanwords

Consonant clusters occurring in loanwords do not necessarily follow the cluster limits set by the borrowing language's phonotactics. The Ubykh language's root psta, a loan from Adyghe, violates Ubykh's rule of no more than two initial consonants; also, the English words sphere, sphinx, Greek loans, violate the restraint that two fricatives may not appear adjacently word-initially. A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Adyghe (адыгэбзэ adygebze, adəgăbză) is one of the two official languages of the Federal Republic of Adygea in the Russian Federation, the other being Russian. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ...


Consonant clusters in English

In English, the longest possible initial cluster is three terms, as in split; the longest possible final cluster is four terms, as in twelfths and strengths. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


However,it is important to distinguish clusters and diagraphs. Clusters are made of two or more consonants followed, with distinct sounds for each symbol. A diagraph is a group of two consonants followed, but standing for only one sound. It is the case of the word "chat", which has two symbols "c" and "h" that togheter, form a unique sound.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
"Phonesthemes in Swedish" by Åsa Abelin (1058 words)
The 37 clusters are: bj-, bl-, br-, dr-, dv-, fj-, fl-, fn-, fr-, gl-, gn-, gr-, kl-, kn-, kr-, kv-, mj-, nj-, pj-, pl-, pr-, sk-, skr-, skv-, sl-, sm-, sn-, sp-, spj-, spl-, spr-, st-, str-, sv-, tr-, tv-, vr-.
The clusters with the highest percentages of sound symbolic root morphemes are: fn- (100%), kn- (81%), gn- (77%), spr- (74%), pj- (71%) and spj- (67%).
Sl-, kl-, and sp- are lexically frequent clusters, fl- and kn- are intermediate.
LINGUIST List 10.930: Waals: Dutch Syllables (2582 words)
For the clusters, so-called "compression rates" were computed, which are nothing else but the duration of a segment in an onset cluster relative to its duration as a singleton onset (expressed as a proportion).
Furthermore, the relative duration of the second consonant depended on the sonority of the preceding consonant, e.g., the duration of a second consonant in a coda cluster was relatively longer after a liquid than after a nasal.
Consonants in triconsonantal clusters were not realized any shorter than in biconsonantal clusters, i.e., the locality effect observed in the onset clusters also applied to codas.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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