Guarani language

GuaraníGuaraniParaguayan Guaraní
Its orthography is largely phonemic, with letter values mostly similar to those of Spanish. The tilde is used with many letters that are considered part of the alphabet. In the case of Ñ/ñ, it differentiates the palatal nasal from the alveolar nasal (as in Spanish), whereas it marks stressed nasalisation when used over a vowel (as in Portuguese): ã, ẽ, ĩ, õ, ũ, ỹ. (Nasal vowels have been written with several other diacritics: ä, ā, â, ã.) The tilde also marks nasality in the case of G̃/g̃, used to represent the nasalized velar approximant by combining the velar approximant "G" with the nasalising tilde.


Lat.Latin languagelat
Vulgar Latin developed into the Romance languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Romanian. Latin, Greek, and French have contributed many words to the English language. In particular, Latin and Ancient Greek roots are used in English descriptions of theology, biology, science, medicine, and law. By the late Roman Republic (75 BC), Old Latin had been standardised into Classical Latin. Vulgar Latin was the colloquial form spoken during the same time and attested in inscriptions and the works of comic playwrights like Plautus and Terence.


vowelsvowel heightV
Nasalization refers to whether some of the air escapes through the nose. In nasal vowels, the velum is lowered, and some air travels through the nasal cavity as well as the mouth. An oral vowel is a vowel in which all air escapes through the mouth. French, Polish and Portuguese contrast nasal and oral vowels. Voicing describes whether the vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation of a vowel. Most languages have only voiced vowels, but several Native American languages, such as Cheyenne and Totonac, contrast voiced and devoiced vowels. Vowels are devoiced in whispered speech. In Japanese and in Quebec French, vowels that are between voiceless consonants are often devoiced.

French language

It is also a working language in nonprofit organisations such as the Red Cross (alongside English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Russian), Amnesty International (alongside 32 other languages of which English is the most used, followed by Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian, Médecins sans Frontières (used alongside English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic), and Médecins du Monde (used alongside English). Given the demographic prospects of the French-speaking nations of Africa, Forbes released an article in 2014 which claimed that French "could be the language of the future".

English language

English: cheese, church; West Frisian: tsiis, tsjerke; ("ch" and "ts" from palatalization). Low German: Keese, Kark; Dutch: kaas, kerk; German: Käse, Kirche ("k" without palatalization). Foxas habbað holu and heofonan fuglas nest. Fox-as habb-að hol-u and heofon-an fugl-as nest-∅. fox- have- hole- and heaven- bird- nest-. "Foxes have holes and the birds of heaven nests". lenis stops: bin, about, nib. fortis stops: pin ; spin ; happy ; nip or. clear l: RP light. dark l: RP and GA full, GA light. voiceless sonorants: clay ; snow RP, GA. syllabic sonorants: paddle, button. Singular: cat, dog. Plural: cats, dogs. Singular: man, woman, foot, fish, ox, knife, mouse.

Stop consonant

Simple nasals are differentiated from stops only by a lowered velum that allows the air to escape through the nose during the occlusion. Nasals are acoustically sonorants, as they have a non-turbulent airflow and are nearly always voiced, but they are articulatorily obstruents, as there is complete blockage of the oral cavity. The term occlusive may be used as a cover term for both nasals and stops. A prenasalized stop starts out with a lowered velum that raises during the occlusion. The closest examples in English are consonant clusters such as the [nd] in candy, but many languages have prenasalized stops that function phonologically as single consonants.


Hindi-languageHindi languageHindi हिंदी
As a linguistic variety, Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English. Alongside Urdu as Hindustani, it is the third most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English. The term Hindī originally was used to refer to inhabitants of the region east of the Indus. It was borrowed from Classical Persian Hindī (Iranian Persian Hendi), meaning "Indian", from the proper noun Hind "India". The name Hindavī was used by Amir Khusrow in his poetry.

Taiwanese Hokkien

The vowels may be either plain or nasal: is non-nasal, and is the same vowel with concurrent nasal articulation. This is similar to French, Portuguese, Polish, and many other languages. There are two pronunciations of vowel. In the south (e.g., Tainan and Kaohsiung) it is ; in the north (e.g., Taipei) it is. Due to development of transportation and communication, both pronunciations are common and acceptable throughout the country. In the traditional analysis, there are eight “tones”, numbered from 1 to 8. Strictly speaking, there are only five tonal contours. But as in other Chinese varieties, the two kinds of stopped syllables are considered also to be tones and assigned numbers 4 and 8.

Korean language

ㅏ is closer to a near-open central vowel, though is still used for tradition. is aspirated and becomes an alveolo-palatal before or for most speakers (but see North–South differences in the Korean language). This occurs with the tense fricative and all the affricates as well. At the end of a syllable, changes to (example: beoseot 'mushroom'). may become a bilabial before or, a palatal before or, a velar before, a voiced between voiced sounds, and a elsewhere. become voiced between voiced sounds. frequently denasalize to at the beginnings of words. becomes alveolar flap between vowels, and or at the end of a syllable or next to another.

Portuguese phonology

PortugueseBrazilian Portugueseepenthetic
All vowels are raised and advanced before alveolar, palato-alveolar and palatal consonants. Word-finally, as well as unstressed and are voiceless. romã ('pomegranade') : : final vowel is (phonemically) "nasal" and nasal approximants may not be pronounced. genro ('son-in-law') : or or : nasal consonant deleted; preceding vowel is (phonemically) "nasal" and nasal approximants may be pronounced. cem ('a hundred') : : nasal approximant must be pronounced. cantar ('to sing') : or possibly : nasal consonant remains because of the following plosive; preceding vowel is raised and nasalized non-phonemically.

Diaeresis (diacritic)

Such vowels were marked with an accent such as the acute, a tradition that has also been adopted by other languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese. For example, the Portuguese words saia "skirt" and the imperfect saía "[I/he/she] used to leave" differ in that the sequence forms a diphthong in the former (synaeresis), but is a hiatus in the latter (diaeresis). In Catalan, the digraphs ai, ei, oi, au, eu, and iu are normally read as diphthongs. To indicate exceptions to this rule (hiatus), a diaeresis mark is placed on the second vowel: without this the words raïm ("grape") and diürn ("diurnal") would be read * and *, respectively.

Sardinian language

Sardiniansrd Sardinian
Metaphony occurs with and, which in particular tend to be open-mid and when they are stressed and the following syllable does not contain or or a palatal. There are also nasal vowels,,,, in some varieties, and even nasal diphthongs when an intervocalic n is deleted like in beni. According to Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, Sardinian has the following consonants: There are three series of plosives or corresponding approximants: In Cagliari and neighboring dialects, the soft has become due to rhotacism: digitus > didu/diru "finger".

Japanese language

This is why some linguists do not classify Japanese "pronouns" as pronouns, but rather as referential nouns, much like Spanish usted (contracted from vuestra merced, "your [(flattering majestic) plural] grace") or Portuguese o senhor. Japanese personal pronouns are generally used only in situations requiring special emphasis as to who is doing what to whom.

German language

The impact of 19th century German immigration to southern Chile was such that Valdivia was for a while a Spanish-German bilingual city with "German signboards and placards alongside the Spanish". The prestige the German language made it acquire qualities of a superstratum in southern Chile. The word for blackberry, an ubiquituos plant in southern Chile, is murra instead of the ordinary Spanish word mora and zarzamora from Valdivia to Chiloé Archipelago and some towns in Aysén Region. The use of rr is an adaptation of guttural sounds found in German difficult to pronounce in Spanish.

Galician language

GalicianGalician speakingGallego
Galician guides: Records, phonetic and dialectology: Corpora: Dictionaries: Texts: Newspapers in Galician: Other links related to Galician: The resolution of medieval nasalized vowels and hiatus: these sometimes turned into diphthongs in the east, while in the center and west the vowels in the hiatus were sometimes assimilated. Later, in the eastern—except Ancarese Galician—and central blocks, the nasal trait was lost, while in the west the nasal trait usually developed into an implosive nasal consonant . In general, these led to important dialectal variability in the inflection in genre and number of words ended in a nasal consonant.

Polish language

Some additional characteristic but less widespread regional dialects include: Polish has six oral vowels (all monophthongs) and two nasal vowels. The oral vowels are (spelled i), (spelled y), (spelled e), (spelled a), (spelled o) and (spelled u or ó). The nasal vowels are (spelled ę) and (spelled ą). The Polish consonant system shows more complexity: its characteristic features include the series of affricate and palatal consonants that resulted from four Proto-Slavic palatalizations and two further palatalizations that took place in Polish and Belarusian.


A somewhat different example is found in English, with the three nasal phonemes. In word-final position these all contrast, as shown by the minimal triplet sum, sun, sung . However, before a stop such as (provided there is no morpheme boundary between them), only one of the nasals is possible in any given position: before, before or, and before, as in limp, lint, link. The nasals are therefore not contrastive in these environments, and according to some theorists this makes it inappropriate to assign the nasal phones heard here to any one of the phonemes (even though, in this case, the phonetic evidence is unambiguous).


For example, English has both oral and nasal allophones of its vowels. The pattern is that vowels are nasal only before a nasal consonant in the same syllable; elsewhere, they are oral. Therefore, by the "elsewhere" convention, the oral allophones are considered basic, and nasal vowels in English are considered to be allophones of oral phonemes. In other cases, an allophone may be chosen to represent its phoneme because it is more common in the languages of the world than the other allophones, because it reflects the historical origin of the phoneme, or because it gives a more balanced look to a chart of the phonemic inventory.

Manner of articulation

articulationmanners of articulationspeech
Flap, often called a tap, is a momentary closure of the oral cavity. The "tt" of "utter" and the "dd" of "udder" are pronounced as a flap [ɾ] in North American and Australian English. Many linguists distinguish taps from flaps, but there is no consensus on what the difference might be. No language relies on such a difference. There are also lateral flaps. Trill, in which the articulator (usually the tip of the tongue) is held in place, and the airstream causes it to vibrate. The double "r" of Spanish "perro" is a trill. Trills and flaps, where there are one or more brief occlusions, constitute a class of consonant called rhotics. Approximant, where there is very little obstruction.

Romance languages

RomanceRomance languageRomance philologist
Nasality: Portuguese marks nasal vowels with a tilde when they occur before other written vowels and in some other instances. Palatalization: some historical palatalizations are indicated with the cedilla in French, Catalan, Occitan and Portuguese. In Spanish and several other world languages influenced by it, the grapheme ñ represents a palatal nasal consonant. Separate pronunciation: when a vowel and another letter that would normally be combined into a digraph with a single sound are exceptionally pronounced apart, this is often indicated with a diaeresis mark on the vowel.

Fricative consonant

Fricativefricativesvoiceless fricative
Phonemically nasalized fricatives are rare. Some South Arabian languages have, Umbundu has, and Kwangali and Souletin Basque have. In Coatzospan Mixtec, appear allophonically before a nasal vowel, and in Igbo nasality is a feature of the syllable; when occur in nasal syllables they are themselves nasalized. H is not a fricative in English (see ). Until its extinction, Ubykh may have been the language with the most fricatives (29 not including ), some of which did not have dedicated symbols or diacritics in the IPA. This number actually outstrips the number of all consonants in English (which has 24 consonants).

Index of phonetics articles

list of phonetics topics
Retroflex flap. Retroflex nasal. Retroflex lateral approximant. Retroflex lateral flap. Retroflex trill. Rhotic consonant. Rounded vowel. Sandhi. SAMPA. Semivowel. Sibilant consonant. Sj-sound. Slack voice. Sociophonetics. Sonorant. Source–filter model of speech production. Spectrogram. Speech organ. Speech perception. Stress accent. Stress (linguistics). Stricture. Syllable. Syncope. Table of vowels. Tap or flap consonant. Teeth. Tenseness. Tonal language. Tone sandhi. Tongue. Trill consonant. Triphthong. Unrounded vowel. Uvula. Uvular consonant. Uvular ejective. Uvular ejective affricate. Uvular ejective fricative. Uvular flap. Uvular nasal. Uvular trill. Velar approximant.

Asturian language

Asturian is one of the Astur-Leonese languages which form part of the Iberian Romance languages, close to Galician-Portuguese and Castilian and further removed from Navarro-Aragonese. It is an inflecting, fusional, head-initial and dependent-marking language. Its word order is subject–verb–object (in declarative sentences without topicalization). Asturian distinguishes five vowel phonemes (these same ones are found in Spanish, Aragonese, Sardinian and Basque), according to three degrees of vowel openness (close, mid and open) and backness (front, central and back). The Latin alphabet was used in the earliest Asturian texts.

Velar consonant

There are also labial–velar consonants, which are doubly articulated at the velum and at the lips, such as. This distinction disappears with the approximant consonant since labialization involves adding of a labial approximant articulation to a sound, and this ambiguous situation is often called labiovelar. A velar trill or tap is not possible: see the shaded boxes on the table of pulmonic consonants. In the velar position, the tongue has an extremely restricted ability to carry out the type of motion associated with trills or taps, and the body of the tongue has no freedom to move quickly enough to produce a velar trill or flap.

Basque language

There are two palatal stops, voiced and unvoiced, as well as a palatal nasal and a palatal lateral (the palatal stops are not present in all dialects). These and the postalveolar sounds are typical of diminutives, which are used frequently in child language and motherese (mainly to show affection rather than size). For example, tanta "drop" vs. ttantta "droplet". A few common words, such as txakur "dog", use palatal sounds even though in current usage they have lost the diminutive sense; the corresponding non-palatal forms now acquiring an augmentative or pejorative sense: zakur—"big dog".