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Attenuation

(760 words)

Author(s): Koller, Aaron
The so-called ‘law of attenuation’ is a phonological process which has been posited in order to explain the shift of /a/ vowels to /i/ in certain environments. Most commonly, it is said to be the complement of Philippi’s Law (Philippi’s Law), which states that /i/ changes to /a/ in closed stressed syllables, e.g., * gínt > גַּת gáṯ ‘wine-press’, * dibbírnū > דִּבַּרְנוּ dibbarnū ‘we spoke’. The law of attenuation seeks to explain the shift of /a/ > /i/ in closed unstressed syllables. Joüon (1923:74–75) states that this process is very common, and it has been employed to explain a …

Affrication

(597 words)

Author(s): Koller, Aaron
Phonetically, affricates are consonants which begin with a plosive sound (a quick release of air following complete closure somewhere in the vocal tract) followed by homorganic audible friction. Sounds such as English <ch>, pronounced [tʃ], or Israeli <צ>, pronounced [ts], are affricates. Although the phonetic definition of an affricate is clear, its phonological reality is less so. Since the work of Trubetzkoy and Martinet (see Martinet 1939), linguists have wondered how to distinguish true affricates, which are perceived as monophonem…