Consonant Epenthesis

Consonant Epenthesis-72
Something similar happened in Sanskrit, with the result that a new vowel -i or -a was added to many words.

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A limited number of words in Japanese use epenthetic consonants to separate vowels.

An example of this is the word harusame of ame; note that this is a synchronic analysis (using current forms to analyze an irregularity).

It requires rapid movements of the vocal apparatus to ensure smooth transitions from one consonant to another.

For the very young child, sequences of consonants may be too difficult to pronounce in rapid succession.

The word epenthesis comes from epi "in addition to" and en "in" and thesis "putting".

Epenthesis may be divided into two types: excrescence or vyanjanabhakti (; from Sanskrit) for the addition of a vowel. The phonotactics of a given language may discourage vowels in hiatus or consonant clusters, and a consonant or vowel may be added to make pronunciation easier.The Dutch city of Delft is pronounced /DEL-lift/ by its inhabitants.Georgian often breaks up its consonant clusters with schwas.Consequently, a vowel – typically a schwa – may be inserted to break up a two-consonant cluster.An example of this would be the word grow /grəʊ/ being realized as /gərəʊ/ where the schwa vowel /ə/ is inserted between the two consonants that form the initial /gr-/ cluster of the word. The effect of this insertion is to create a slight hiatus between the two consonants of the cluster, thereby easing the pressure on the vital rapidity of movement.Epenthesis may be represented in writing or be a feature only of the spoken language.A consonant may be added to separate vowels in hiatus. Regular examples in English are -i-, used in forming Latinate words such as equidistant, and -o-, used in forming words on Greek roots or general compounds, as in speedometer.Examples of this kind are common in many Slavic languages, which showed a preference for open (vowel-final) syllables in earlier times.The other Slavic languages instead metathesised the vowel and the consonant, creating *grodŭ (Polish gród, Czech hrad, Serbo-Croatian grad).Regular or semiregular epenthesis commonly occurs in languages that use affixes. That is again a synchronic analysis, as the form with the vowel is the original form and the vowel was later lost in many but not all cases.Vocalic epenthesis typically occurs when words are borrowed from a language that has consonant clusters or syllable codas that are not permitted in the borrowing language, though this is not always the cause.


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