Gujarati Phonology
Get Gujarati Phonology essential facts below. View Videos or join the Gujarati Phonology discussion. Add Gujarati Phonology to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Gujarati Phonology

Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language native to the Indian state of Gujarat. Much of its phonology is derived from Sanskrit.

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i u
Close-mid e ? o
Open-mid ? ?
Open (æ) ?
  • Sanskrit's phonemic vowel length has been lost.[1] Vowels are long when nasalized or in a final syllable.[2][2]
  • Gujarati contrasts oral and nasal, and murmured and non-murmured vowels,[2] except for /e/ and /o/.[3]
  • In absolute word-final position the higher and lower vowels of the /e ?/ and /o ?/ sets vary.[3]
  • /?/ and /?/ developed in the 15th century. Old Gujarati split into Rajasthani and Middle Gujarati.[4]
  • English loanwords are a source of /æ/.[5]

Consonants

  • A fourth nasal phoneme is postulated for the phones [?, ?] and the nasalization of a preceding vowel [?].[7][7] Before velar and palatal stops, there is variation between these; e.g. [m]~[m] ('ask for'), [t?ko]~[t?ko] ('swing').[8]
  • Stops occurring at first members of clusters followed by consonants other than /?, j, ?/ are unreleased; they are optionally unreleased in final position. The absence of release entails deaspiration of voiceless stops.[9]
  • Intervocalically and with murmuring of vowels, the voiced aspirated stops /, d?, b?/ have voiced spirant allophones [?, ð, ?]. Spirantization of non-palatal voiceless aspirates has been reported as well,[9] including /p?/ being usually realized as [f] in the standard dialect.[9]
  • The two voiced retroflex plosives /, ?/ and the retroflex nasal /?/ have flapped allophones [, ?, ]. The plosives /, ?/ are unflapped initially, geminated, and after nasal vowels; and flapped intervocalically, finally, and before or after other consonants.[6] The nasal /?/ is unflapped before retroflex plosives and intervocalically, and in final position varies freely between flapped and unflapped.[7]
  • /?/ has [v] and [w] as allophones.[10]
  • The distribution of sibilants varies over dialects and registers.
    • Some dialects only have [s], others prefer [?], while another system has them non-contrasting, with [?] occurring contiguous to palatal segments. Retroflex [?] still appears in clusters in which it precedes another retroflex: [sp] ('clear').[11]
    • Some speakers maintain [z] as well for Persian and English borrowings. Persian's /z/'s have by and large been transposed to /d?/ and /d/: /d?ind?i/ ('life') and /t?id/ ('thing'). The same cannot be so easily said for English: /t?iz/ ('cheese').
    • Lastly, a colloquial register has [s], or both [s] and [?], replaced by voiceless [h]. For educated speakers speaking this register, this replacement does not extend to Sanskrit borrowings.[9]

Phonotactical constraints include:

  • /?/ and /?/ do not occur word-initially.[2]
  • Clusters occur initially, medially, and finally. Geminates occur only medially.[2]
  • Biconsonantal initial clusters beginning with stops have /?/, /j/, /?/, and /l/ as second members.[12] In addition to these, in loans from Sanskrit the clusters /?n/ and /k?/ may occur.
    The occurrence of /?/ as a second member in consonantal clusters is one of Gujarati's conservative features as a modern Indo-Aryan language. For example, languages used in Asokan inscriptions (3rd century BC) display contemporary regional variations, with words found in Gujarat's Girnar inscriptions containing clusters with /?/ as the second member not having /?/ in their occurrence in inscriptions elsewhere. This is maintained even to today, with Gujarati /t?/ corresponding to Hindi /t/ and /tt/.[13]
  • Initially, s clusters biconsonantally with /?, j, ?, n, m/, and non-palatal voiceless stops.[12]
  • Triconsonantal initial clusters include /st?, sp?, sm?/ - most of which occur in borrowings.[12]
  • Geminates were previously treated as long consonants, but they are better analyzed as clusters of two identical segments. Two proofs for this:[7]
    • The u in geminated ucc?r "pronunciation" sounds more like the one in clustered udg?r ('utterance') than the one in shortened uc ('anxiety').
    • Geminates behave towards (that is, disallow) [?]-deletion like clusters do.

Gemination can serve as intensification. In some adjectives and adverbs, a singular consonant before the agreement vowel can be doubled for intensification.[14] #VC? -> #VCC?.

big [mo] [mo] big
straight [sid] [sidd] straight
considerably [ks?] [kss?] considerably

Stress

The matter of stress is not quite clear:

  • Stress is on the first syllable except when it doesn't have /a/ and the second syllable does.[15]
  • Stress is barely perceptible.[16]
  • Stress typically falls on the penultimate syllable of a word, however, if the penultimate vowel in a word with more than two syllables is schwa, stress falls on the preceding syllable.[17]

?-deletion

Schwa-deletion, along with a-reduction and [?]-insertion, is a phonological process at work in the combination of morphemes. It is a common feature among Indo-Aryan languages, referring to the deletion of a stem's final syllable's /?/ before a suffix starting with a vowel.[15]

This does not apply for monosyllabic stems and consonant clusters. So, better put, #VC?C + V# -> #VCCV#. It also doesn't apply when the addition is an o plural marker (see Gujarati grammar#Nouns) or e as an ergative case marker (see Gujarati grammar#Postpositions).[18]}} It sometimes doesn't apply for e as a locative marker.

Stem Suffix Suffixed stem C/V Del Notes
verb root [ke] educate [i?] 1st person singular, future [kei?] will educate CVC?C + VC -> CVCCVC Yes Polysyllabic stem with /?/ in its final syllable, with a suffix starting with a vowel (verbal declension).
[s?m?d?] understand [j?] masculine plural, perfective [s?md?j?] understood CVC?C + CV -> CVCCCV Polysyllabic stem with /?/ in its final syllable, with a suffix starting with a semi-vowel (verbal declension).
[ut] descend [to] masculine singular, imperfective [utto] descending VC?C + CV -> VC?CCV No Suffix starting with a consonant.
[t] swim, float [?] 2nd person singular, present [t] swimming, floating C?C + V -> C?CV Monosyllabic.
[] describe [i] feminine, perfective [i] described CVCC?C + VC -> CVCC?CVC Consonant cluster.
[o?] wallow, roll [i] 1st person plural, future [o?i] will wallow, roll VCoC + VCV -> VCoCVCV Non-?.
noun [s] laziness [?] adjectival marker [s?] lazy VC?C + V -> VCCV Yes Polysyllabic stem with /?/ in its final syllable, with a suffix starting with a vowel (adjectival marking).
[kt] time [e] locative marker [kte] at (the) time CVC?C + V -> CVCCV Sometimes yes -- e as a locative marker.
[dis] day [dise] on (the) day CVC?C + V -> CVC?CV No Sometimes no -- e as a locative marker.
[m?t] game [o] plural marker [m?to] games CVC?C + V -> CVC?CV Plural o number marker suffix.
adjective [?m] hot [i] noun marker [mi] heat CVC?C + V -> CVCCV Yes Polysyllabic stem with /?/ in its final syllable, with a suffix starting with a vowel (noun marking).

?-reduction

A stem's final syllable's /?/ will reduce to /?/ before a suffix starting with /?/. #?C(C) + ?# -> #eC(C)?#. This can be seen in the derivation of nouns from adjective stems, and in the formation of passive and causative forms of verb stems.[19]

Stem Suffix Suffixed Stem Reduced
cut [k?p] [?] [k?p?] be cut Passive Yes
[] [k?p] cause to cut Causative
cause
to cut
[k?p] [?] [k?p] cause to be cut Causative Passive No[a]
[] [k?p] cause to cause to cut Double Causative
use [p] [?] [p][b] be used Passive Yes
long [l?mb] [?i] [l?mb?i] length Noun
  1. ^ It does not happen a second time.
  2. ^ It can take place after an ?-deletion. #?C?C + ?# -> #?CC?#.

[?]-insertion

Between a stem ending in a vowel and its suffix starting with a vowel, a [?] is inserted.[20] #V + V# -> #V?V#. This can be seen in the formation of passive and causative forms of verb stems.

Stem Suffix Suffixed stem
see [d?o] [?] [d?o] be seen
sing [] [] [] cause to sing

The second example shows an ?-reduction as well.

?-insertion

? finds itself inserted between the emphatic particle /d?/ and consonant-terminating words it postpositions.[21]

one [ek] [ek?d?] one
that [e] [ed?] that

Murmur

/?/ serves as a source for murmur, of which there are three rules:[22]

Rule Formal[a] Casual English
1 Word-initial ?V -> V?[b] [e] [e] now
[k?] [k?] bone
2 Vnon-high ->
V?non-high, more open
[sel?] [sl?] easy
[bo] [b?] large
[d?o] [dao][c] day
3 ?/a?Vhigh -> / (glide) [i] [j] stayed
[bu] [b] very
  1. ^ Gujarati spelling reflects this mode. The script has no direct notation for murmur.
  2. ^ Rule 1 creates allomorphs for nouns. For example, /d/ ('limit') by itself can be d, but can only be d in bed ('limitless').
  3. ^ More open.

The table below compares declensions of the verbs [k?] ('to do') and [k?] ('to say'). The former follows the regular pattern of the stable root /k/ serving as a point for characteristic suffixations. The latter, on the other hand, is deviant and irregular in this respect.

Infinitive Perfective Imperative 1sg. Future
[k?] [kj?] [ko] [ki?]
[k?] [kj?] [k] [kj?]

The [k?] situation can be explained through murmur. If to a formal or historical root of /ke/ these rules are considered then predicted, explained, and made regular is the irregularity that is [k?] (romanized as kahev?).

Thus below are the declensions of [k?] /?/-possessing, murmur-eliciting root /ke/, this time with the application of the murmur rules on the root shown, also to which a preceding rule must be taken into account:

0. A final root vowel gets deleted before a suffix starting with a non-consonant.
Rule Infinitive Perfective Imperative 1sg. Future
[ke-] [ke-j?] [ke-o] [ke-i?]
0 [k-j?] [k-o] [k-i?]
2 [k-] [k]
3 [k-j?]
-> [k?] [kj?] [k] [kj?]

However, in the end not all instances of /?/ become murmured and not all murmur comes from instances of /?/.

One other predictable source for murmur is voiced aspirated stops. A clear vowel followed by a voiced aspirated stop can vary with a pair gaining murmur and losing aspiration: #VC? #V?C.

References

  1. ^ Mistry (2003), p. 115.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mistry (2003), p. 116.
  3. ^ a b Cardona & Suthar (2003), p. 662.
  4. ^ Mistry (2003), pp. 115-116.
  5. ^ Mistry (1996), pp. 391-393.
  6. ^ a b Masica (1991), p. 97.
  7. ^ a b c d Mistry (1997), p. 659.
  8. ^ Cardona & Suthar (2003), p. 665.
  9. ^ a b c d Cardona (2003), p. 665.
  10. ^ Mistry (2001), p. 275.
  11. ^ Mistry (1997), p. 658.
  12. ^ a b c Cardona & Suthar (2003), p. 666.
  13. ^ Mistry (2001), p. 274.
  14. ^ Mistry (1997), p. 670.
  15. ^ a b Mistry (1997), p. 660.
  16. ^ Campbell (1991), p. ?.
  17. ^ UCLA Language Materials Project: Gujarati. Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2007-04-29
  18. ^ Mistry (1997), pp. 661-662.
  19. ^ Mistry (1997), p. 662.
  20. ^ Mistry (1997), p. 663.
  21. ^ Cardona & Suthar (2003), p. 667.
  22. ^ Mistry (1997), pp. 666-668.

Bibliography

  • Campbell, G.L. (1991), "Gujarati", Compendium of the world's languages, volume 1. Abaza to Lusatian, New York: Routledge, pp. 541-545
  • Cardona, George; Suthar, Babu (2003), "Gujarati", in Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh (eds.), The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-77294-5
  • Dave, T.N. (1931), "Notes on Gujarati Phonology", Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, 6 (3): 673-678, doi:10.1017/S0041977X00093174, ISSN 1356-1898, JSTOR 607202
  • Firth, J.R. (1957), "Phonetic Observations on Gujarati", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 20 (1): 231-241, doi:10.1017/S0041977X00061802, JSTOR 610376
  • Masica, Colin (1991), The Indo-Aryan Languages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-29944-2
  • Mistry, P.J. (1996), "Gujarati Writing", in Daniels; Bright (eds.), The World's Writing Systems, Oxford University Press
  • Mistry, P.J. (1997), "Gujarati Phonology", in Kaye, A.S (ed.), Phonologies of Asia and Africa, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns
  • Mistry, P.J. (2001), "Gujarati", in Garry, Jane; Rubino, Carl (eds.), An encyclopedia of the world's major languages, past and present, New England Publishing Associates
  • Mistry, P.J. (2003), "Gujarati", in Frawley, William (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2 (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Pandit, P.B. (1961), "Historical Phonology of Gujarati Vowels", Language, Linguistic Society of America, 37 (1): 54-66, doi:10.2307/411249, JSTOR 411249
  • Turner, Ralph Lilley (1921), "Gujarati Phonology", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 505-544
  • Turner, Ralph Lilley (1915), "Indo-Aryan Nasals in Gujarati", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 1033-1038

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Gujarati_phonology
 



 



 
Music Scenes