Blog Archives

Notes on the phonology of Kamassian

For a language family mostly made up of minority languages, Uralic is really quite well documented by any standards. Most of the smaller languages have received decent descriptions already in the 19th century, and many also theoretically updated reflections later

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Stop voicing across Uralic: some musings

Finnish often gets used as an example of a language that does not contrast voiced and voiceless consonants. While this is not really correct for Standard Finnish (which at least prescribes all of the voiced stops /b d g/), it’s

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Bonus Material 2017

A little recap of history: Freelance Reconstruction, the blog you’re currently reading, [1] was originally started as a Tumblr microblog. It turned out though that my blogging style needs a sturdier framework, and for several years now, I’ve been happy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Links, Meta

*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

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
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

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
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

Tagged with: , , ,
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

Tagged with: , , ,
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

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
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

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Methodology

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.