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Encyclopedia > Phonotactics

Phonotactics (in Greek phone = voice and tactic = course) is a branch of phonology that deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes. Phonotactics defines permissible syllable structure, consonant clusters, and vowel sequences by means of phonotactical constraints. The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ... In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Phonotactic constraints are language specific. For example, in Japanese, consonant clusters like /st/ are not allowed, although they are in English. Similarly, the sounds /kn/ and /ɡn/ are not permitted at the beginning of a word in Modern English but are in German and Dutch. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Syllables have the following internal segmental structure:

  • Onset (optional)
  • Rime (obligatory, comprised of Nucleus and Coda):

Both onset and coda may be empty, forming a vowel-only syllable, or alternatively, the nucleus can be occupied by a syllabic consonant). In phonetics and phonology, a syllable onset is the part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus. ... In the study of phonology in linguistics, the rime or rhyme of a syllable consists of a nucleus and an optional coda. ... In phonetics and phonology, the nucleus is the central part of the syllable, mostly commonly a vowel. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... A syllabic consonant is a consonant which constitutes either a syllable of its own, or is the nucleus of a syllable. ...


English phonotactics

The English syllable (and word) twelfths /twɛlfθs/ is divided into the onset /tw/, the nucleus /ɛ/, and the coda /lfθs/, and it can thus be described as CCVCCCC (C = consonant, V = vowel). On this basis it is possible to form rules for which representations of phoneme classes may fill the cluster. For instance, English allows at most three consonants in an onset, but phonemes in a three-consonantical onset are strictly limited to the following scheme: English phonology is the study of the phonology (ie the sound system) of the English language. ...

/s/ + voiceless plosive (/p t k/) + approximant (/ɹ j w/)
/s/ + voiceless plosive (/p k/) + approximant (/l ɹ j w/)

This constraint can be observed in the pronunciation of the word blue: Originally, the vowel of blue was identical to the vowel of cue, approximately [iw]. In most dialects of English, [iw] shifted to [juː]. Theoretically, this would produce **[bljuː]. The cluster [blj], however, infringes the constraint for three-consonantal onsets in English. Therefore, the pronunciation has been reduced to [bluː] by elision of the [j]. Phoneticians define phonation as use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Phoneticians define phonation as use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... In music, see elision (music). ...


Note that those English dialects that preserve the pronunciations [kiw] for cue have also preserved the pronunciation [bliw] for blue. Other languages don't share the same constraint: compare Spanish pliegue [ˈpljeɣe].


Sonority hierarchy

In general, the rules of phonotactics operate around the sonority hierarchy, stipulating that the nucleus has maximal sonority and that sonority decreases as you move away from the nucleus. The voiceless alveolar fricative [s] is lower on the sonority hierarchy than the alveolar lateral approximant [l], so the combination /sl/ is permitted in onsets and /ls/ is permitted in codas, but /ls/ is not allowed in onsets and /sl/ is not allowed in codas. Hence slips /slɪps/ and pulse /pʌls/ are possible English words while *lsips and *pusl are not. There are of course exceptions to this rule, but in general it holds for the phonotactics of most languages. A sonority hierarchy or sonority scale is a way of acting like a moron by using wikipedia. ... The voiceless alveolar fricatives are a type of consonantal sound. ... The alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Phonotactics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (458 words)
Phonotactics defines permissible syllable structure, consonant clusters, and vowel sequences by means of phonotactical constraints.
In general, the rules of phonotactics operate around the sonority hierarchy, stipulating that the nucleus has maximal sonority and that sonority decreases as you move away from the nucleus.
The voiceless alveolar fricative [s] is lower on the sonority hierarchy than the alveolar lateral approximant [l], so the combination /sl/ is permitted in onsets and /ls/ is permitted in codas, but /ls/ is not allowed in onsets and /sl/ is not allowed in codas.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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