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Encyclopedia > Palatalization

Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. g. alveolar) consonant. Palatalization is typically effected by bringing the tip of the tongue near the palatal ridge, and raising the middle part of the tongue towards the palatal vault. It tends to occur in the vicinity of front vowels or palatal approximants. The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and vertebrate animals. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... Alveolars are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, the internal side of the upper gums (known as the alveoles of the upper teeth). ... A front vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... The palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in very many spoken languages. ...

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, palatalized consonants are denoted with a small superscript j, e. g. [dʲ]. The International Phonetic Alphabet is a phonetic alphabet used by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) the human vocal apparatus can produce. ...

Palatalization can be the result of:

  • A synchronic phonological process, by which some phonemes are realized as palatalized sounds in certain contexts (e. g. before front vowels), and non-palatalized elsewhere. This process does not produce two phonemes, but only allophonic variation that might even go unnoticed to the speakers.
  • A synchronic grammatical process, where palatalization as a form of consonant alternation serves a grammatical purpose (for example, palatalizing the first consonant of a verb root might signal the past tense). This type of palatalization is also phonemic (it is recognized by the speakers as a contrasting feature).
  • A diachronic phonemic split, that is, a historical change by which a phoneme becomes two different phonemes over time through palatalization and produces lexical splits (pairs of words in which the speakers recognize two different sounds).

Palatalization has played a major role in the history of the Uralic, Romance, Slavic, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Indic languages, among many others throughout the world. In Japanese, for example, allophonic palatalization affected the alveolar stops /t/ and /d/ turning them into alveolo-palatal affricates before /i/ (Japanese has only recently regained phonetical [ti] and [di] through borrowed words, and thus palatalization has become lexical). Synchronic study is the study of language at a particular point in time. ... Phonology (Greek phone = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), or phonemics, is a subfield of grammar (see also linguistics). ... In spoken language, a phoneme is a basic, theoretical unit of sound that can distinguish words (that is changing one phoneme in a word can produce another word) A succinct way to describe the idea of a phoneme is the smallest difference that makes a difference in meaning. ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... Diachronic study is the study of the development of a language over a period of time. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time, by means of examining languages which are recognizably related through similarities such as vocabulary, word formation, and syntax, as well as the surviving records of ancient languages. ... Geographical distribution of Finnic, Ugric, Samoyed and Yukaghir languages The Uralic languages form a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. ... The Romance languages, also called Romanic languages or New Latin Languages, are a subset of the Italic languages, specifically the descendants of the Latin dialects spoken by the common people in what is known as Latin Europe (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish Europa latina, French Europe latine) and Romania as Vulgar Latin... The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ...

Palatalization is common in many languages. Some English examples are: The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

  • The t of question and nature are pronounced as ch, or the d of soldier and procedure sound like j. As these examples suggest, in English orthography, palatalization is often indicated by a following i or u. An example from casual speech can be found when what are you up to comes out like whacha up to.
  • The historical change in pronunciation of the initial sound in Caesar from the /k/ sound in Classical Latin to the familiar /s/ sound in English and some other languages, through several intermediate steps (palatalized /k/ becomes an affricate, and then loses the plosive component). This change occurred universally in Latin after front vowels such as e or i.

The orthography of a language is the set of rules of how to write correctly in the writing system of a language. ... Latin is the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ...

See also

Iotation is a form of palatalisation which occurs in Slavic languages. ... The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. ... Soft Sign (Ь, ь) is a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet (Russian: мягкий знак (mĭahkij znak) [mʲȧçkə: znak], Ukrainian: м’який знак (mjakyj znak) [mjakɪi̯ znak], Belorussian: мяккі знак (miakki znak) [mʲakʲ:i znak]). It is named so because it usually indicates softening, or palatalization, of the preceding consonant or... The Cyrillic alphabet (or azbuka, from the old name of the first letters) is an alphabet used to write six natural Slavic languages (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe. ... In speech there are different ways of producing a consonant. ... A acoustic phonetics affricate airstream mechanism allophone alveolar approximant alveolar consonant alveolar ejective fricative alveolar ejective alveolar flap alveolar nasal alveolar ridge alveolar trill alveolo-palatal consonant apical consonant approximant consonant articulatory phonetics aspiration auditory phonetics B back vowel bilabial click bilabial consonant bilabial ejective bilabial nasal bilabial trill breathy...


Bynon, Theodora. Historical Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, 1977. ISBN 0-521-21582-X (hardback) or ISBN 0-521-291188-7 (paperback).

  Results from FactBites:
Encyclopedia4U - Palatal consonant - Encyclopedia Article (185 words)
Palatals are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth).
English [j] (spelt y) is a palatal approximant, and German [ç] (spelt ch after front vowels, as in nicht) or Spanish [jj] (spelt y before vowels, as in ayuda) are palatal fricatives.
For example, English [S] (spelt sh) has such a palatal component, although its primary articulation involves the tip of the tongue and the upper gum (this type of articulation is called palatoalveolar).
  More results at FactBites »



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