Phonological change

In historical linguistics, phonological change is any sound change that alters the distribution of phonemes in a language. In other words, a language develops a new system of oppositions among its phonemes. Old contrasts may disappear, new ones may emerge, or they may simply be rearranged.[1] Sound change may be an impetus for changes in the phonological structures of a language (and likewise, phonological change may sway the process of sound change).[1] One process of phonological change is rephonemicization, in which the distribution of phonemes changes by either addition of new phonemes or a reorganization of existing phonemes.[2] Mergers and splits are types of rephonemicization and are discussed further below.

  1. ^ a b Henrich Hock, Hans (1991). Principles of Historical Linguistics (Second ed.). Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 53–4.
  2. ^ Crowley, Terry; Bowern, Claire (2010). An Introduction to Historical Linguistics (4th ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780195365542.

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