Sound change that occurs in one word only

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
Are there any examples in your language where sound change occurs only in a certain word and is not generalized.

Slovene has an example of glottal stop in word šestdeset 'sixty'.
In certain Bosnian dialects in 1.,2.,3. person singular for the verb kazati 'to say', the following sound change occurs. VžV<VV.
In Croatian slang the same sound change occurs in the 3rd person singular form of the verb kužiti.
 
  • Ballenero

    Senior Member
    Spaniard
    In Spanish, "x" is pronounced as in English "sex", x = ks.
    "sex"= seks in English.
    "sexo"= sekso in Spanish.

    I think that under the influence of Nahuatl; the "x" of Mexico, Texas and Oaxaca is pronounced "j" in Spanish, in English it is like the "h" of "hello" but stronger.
    Written in Spanish: México.
    Pronounced in Spanish: Méjico.
    Figurative pronunciation in English: Meh-he-co.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The most striking example I know of is in (standard) Arabic. Five phonemes, /q/ and the pharyngalized /tˁ dˁ sˁ ðˁ/, regularly cause a neighbouring /a/ to have the back rounded value [ɒ] rather than its usual [æ]. Uniquely, the double /ll/ in the name alla:h "God" (and words based on it) also does this to its neighbouring vowels. The sound /l/ never otherwise does, not even in the common noun ʔilāh "god", which alla:h comes from.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Some in Catalan:
    • Drop of s in aquest "this". Final -st words keep both consonants pronounced except for this one (and its plural aquests).
    • Carai (an interjection) instead of carall (cf. Spanish carajo, Portuguese caralho). This is part of Eastern Catalan result of Latin -c'l-, -g'l-, -li-, but has become standard. Another example is vull "I want" which is frequently pronounced vui. Apart from those examples Eastern Catalan has generally adopted the /ʎ/ sound for those outcomes.
    • Ximple "dumb" /ˈʃimpɫə/ shows palatalization of si- which also occurs in seixanta "sixty" (which is generally pronounced xixanta), and dialectally, in síndria "watermelon" (xíndria).
    I think that under the influence of Nahuatl; the "x" of Mexico, Texas and Oaxaca is pronounced "j" in Spanish
    This is not a sound change though, but a remnant of the older orthography.
     
    Italian:
    Gli dèi ( ʎidɛi) plural of il dio - gods (the gods), we have the article gli instead of the normal masculine plural article i before the consonant d.
    Normally in Italian the plural article gli is used before a masculine noun beginning with a vowel, z or some consonant clusters such as: st, sdr, sch, sc. etc.

    Actually it is not a single word but it is pronounced as if it were so
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Maybe memory fails me but I'd say I recall to hear the /s/ pronounced. Is there any dialect making it that way?
    In standard Catalan, that s is pronounced in the singular when the following word starts by a vowel: aquest any, aquest home.

    In spoken Catalan, it varies locally and individually. Generally speaking, most people don't pronounce that s in aquest + consonant or aquests (in the plural), but it sounds if the speaker uses the plural aquestos. In the feminine aquesta, the s is usually pronounced, unless by natives from around Tarragona.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    In standard Catalan, that s is pronounced in the singular when the following word starts by a vowel: aquest any, aquest home.

    the plural aquestos.
    Is it then officially wrong to pronounce the -s- in aquest before a consonant? Aquest noi? Also when would one use the form aquestos?
     
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    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Mallorca, most probably.
    I learnt most of the Catalan that I know hearing ubarn and rural speakers of the Tarragonès and your map confirms that memory served me OK. That form that drops the t instead of the s sounds familiar to me. A big thank you for the map because it's really useful and interesting.
    In standard Catalan, that s is pronounced in the singular when the following word starts by a vowel: aquest any, aquest home.
    That could explain too why I recalled the s to be pronounced.
    Also when would one use the form aquestos?
    As far as I know, it's a dialectal variant of aquests, but wait for the natives.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Is it then officially wrong to pronounce the -s- in aquest before a consonant? Aquest noi? Also when would one use the form aquestos?
    I wouldn't consider it officially wrong, just not the one regarded as standard. Maybe, as Dymn says, in the Majorcan substandard, in which the pronunciation /əcést/ is the one often heard. Western varieties withou aqu-, such as Valencian, always pronounce the s.

    Many 2nd speakers also pronounce that s on any occasion. In those cases, they often drop the t instead, as their 1st language is usually Spanish and consonantal clusters in it do not proliferate as much as in Catalan.

    Aquestos may be locally a preferred form, but it can also coexist with aquests, as most words ending in -st, -sc, -xt and sometimes -ig have both plural forms (-s and -os) accepted. However, most formal sources tend to dislike the use of aquestos.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Many 2nd speakers also pronounce that s on any occasion. In those cases, they often drop the t instead, as their 1st language is usually Spanish and consonantal clusters in it do not proliferate as much as in Catalan.
    My first thought when I read your quote was that it could explain the dropping of the t showed in some areas of the map linked by @Dymn in 6 but seeing it more carefully the map, I see that the dropping is also found in areas where the number of 2nd speakers shouldn't be great like for example, St. Llorenç de Morunys (103), Avià (33), Margalef de Montsant (123) or St. Jaume dels Domenys (64) (where, by the way, aquest with both s and t is the first answer and the dropping of the t appears as second option) so I guess native Catalan speakers may drop it too on some areas like the ones I've just quoted.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    [This is off-topicking and I hope a moderator can move the subthread to the Catalan forum]

    @Circunflejo, the form you're mentioning isn't a pronunciation of aquest but actually aqueix, which is a different word. Speakers who use it have a three-way deictic system: aquest-aqueix-aquell, like Spanish. However aqueix is rather obsolete nowadays, at least in Catalonia. Note that this map is part of a dialectal survey that was carried out in the 60s and 70s to old people who had lived their entire lives in their town.

    Aquestos may be locally a preferred form, but it can also coexist with aquests, as most words ending in -st, -sc, -xt and sometimes -ig have both plural forms (-s and -os) accepted. However, most formal sources tend to dislike the use of aquestos.
    I often hear aquestos by people from Lleida, which the map kind of confirms. Elsewhere, aquests is much more common than aquestos, unlike other words ending in -st whose plural in the spoken language (in Catalonia) is -os, because /sts/ is too complicated.
     
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