Blog Archives

*wu > *u in Finnic

One minor phonological innovation in Finnish is mentioned in historical overviews far more often than could be expected from its lexical frequency: the loss of a palatal semivowel *j when preceding its vocalic counterpart *i. This is probably because the shift

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Posted in Reconstruction

Proto-Uralic *ŋx?

My earlier post ‘Swan’ in Uralic alluded to the possibility of reconstructing Proto-Uralic also *x in positions where it has not previously been considered to occur, particularly by reanalyzing some clusters with *k in them. This is not an idle

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Posted in Reconstruction

Inheritance in Phonology

It occurred to me that there’s one concept I have never seen anyone else define or use, although I’ve been working with it in my own research for a while now: that of an inheritance phoneme. This is in effect

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Posted in Methodology

*je-: A Reprise

Summer’s wrapping up, a new academic year’s about to roll in, and if all goes well, I might be returning to more active blogging around here. I have also returned, about a week ago, from the 12th International Congress for

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Posted in News, Reconstruction

Similar Place Avoidance in language history

An interesting paper I’ve found a couple days ago: Pozdniakov, Konstantin & Segerer, Guillaume (2007). Similar Place Avoidance: A Statistical Universal. In: Linguistic Typology 11:2. The main thesis is relatively simple: most languages of the world disfavor word roots where

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Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized

Consonant clusters in Khanty

My previous example of phonotactic combination analysis was on data that was, despite a few kinks, still largely homogenous. But to showcase how it’s important to have a decent basic hypothesis before going into more fine-grained analysis, here’s a look

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Posted in Methodology

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