Sandhi

Sandhi (Sanskrit: सन्धि, lit.'joining', IAST: sandhi [sɐndʱi]) is a cover term for a wide variety of sound changes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries. Examples include fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of one sound depending on nearby sounds or the grammatical function of the adjacent words. Sandhi belongs to morphophonology.

Sandhi occurs in many languages, particularly in the phonology of South Asian languages (especially Sanskrit, Tamil, Sinhala, Telugu, Marathi, Hindi, Pali, Kannada, Bengali, Assamese, Malayalam). Many dialects of British English show linking and intrusive R.

A subset of sandhi called tone sandhi more specifically refers to tone changes between words and syllables. This is a common feature of many tonal languages such as Mandarin Chinese.


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