Consonant cluster

In linguistics, a consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. In English, for example, the groups /spl/ and /ts/ are consonant clusters in the word splits.

Some linguists argue that the term can be properly applied only to those consonant clusters that occur within one syllable. Others claim that the concept is more useful when it includes consonant sequences across syllable boundaries. According to the former definition, the longest consonant clusters in the word extra would be /ks/ and /tr/,[1] whereas the latter allows /kstr/.

Phonotactics

Languages' phonotactics differ as to what consonant clusters they permit.

Many languages are more restrictive than English in terms of consonant clusters. Many languages forbid consonant clusters entirely. Hawaiian, like most Malayo-Polynesian languages, is of this sort. Japanese is almost as strict, but allows a sequence of a nasal or approximant, plus another consonant, as in Honshū [hoꜜɰ̃ɕɯː] (the name of the largest island of Japan), and Tōkyō [toːkʲoː]. Standard Arabic forbids initial consonant clusters and more than two consecutive consonants in other positions. So do most other Semitic languages, although Modern Israeli Hebrew permits initial two-consonant clusters (e.g. pkak "cap"; dlaat "pumpkin"), and Moroccan Arabic, under Berber influence, allows strings of several consonants.[2] Like most Mon–Khmer languages, Khmer permits only initial consonant clusters with up to three consonants in a row per syllable. Finnish has initial consonant clusters natively only on South-Western dialects and on foreign loans, and only clusters of three inside the word are allowed. Most spoken languages and dialects, however, are more permissive. In Burmese, consonant clusters of only up to three consonants (the initial and two medials—two written forms of /-j-/, /-w-/) at the initial onset are allowed in writing and only two (the initial and one medial) are pronounced. These clusters are restricted to certain letters. Some Burmese dialects allow for clusters of up to four consonants (with the addition of the /-l-/ medial, which can combine with the above-mentioned medials.

At the other end of the scale, the Kartvelian languages of Georgia are drastically more permissive of consonant clustering. Clusters in Georgian of four, five or six consonants are not unusual—for instance, /brtʼqʼɛli/ (flat), /mt͡sʼvrtnɛli/ (trainer) and /prt͡skvna/ (peeling)—and if grammatical affixes are used, it allows an eight-consonant cluster: /ɡvbrdɣvnis/ (he's plucking us). Consonants cannot appear as syllable nuclei in Georgian, so this syllable is analysed as CCCCCCCCVC. The neighboring, but unrelated, Armenian language also allows for long consonant strings. For example, the classic transliterations k̕rt̕mndzhal and khghchmtank̕ of քրթմնջալ /kʰɾtʰmnd͡ʒɑl/ ("to grumble") and խղճմտանք /χʁt͡ʃmtɑnkʰ/ ("conscience") start with eight consonants, though in the Armenian alphabet and the modern ISO 9985 transliteration words starting with more than six consonants are rare. Many Slavic languages may manifest almost as formidable numbers of consecutive consonants, such as in the Slovak words štvrť /ʃtvr̩tʲ/ ("quarter"), and žblnknutie /ʒbl̩ŋknutje/ ("clunk"; "flop") and the Slovene word skrbstvo /skrbstʋo/ ("welfare"). However, the liquid consonants /r/ and /l/ can form syllable nuclei in West and South Slavic languages and behave phonologically as vowels in this case. An example of a true initial cluster is the Polish word wszczniesz (/fʂt͡ʂɲɛʂ/ ("you will initiate"). In the Serbo-Croatian word opskrbljivanje /ɔpskr̩bʎiʋaɲɛ/ ("victualling") the ⟨lj⟩ and ⟨nj⟩ are digraphs representing single consonants: [ʎ] and [ɲ], respectively. Some Salishan languages exhibit long words with no vowels at all, such as the Nuxálk word /xɬpʼχʷɬtʰɬpʰɬːskʷʰt͡sʼ/: he had had in his possession a bunchberry plant. It is extremely difficult to accurately classify which of these consonants may be acting as the syllable nucleus, and these languages challenge classical notions of exactly what constitutes a syllable. The same problem is encountered in the Northern Berber languages.

There has been a trend to reduce and simplify consonant clusters in East Asian languages, such as Chinese and Vietnamese. Old Chinese was known to contain additional medials such as /r/ and/or /l/, which yielded retroflexion in Middle Chinese and today's Mandarin Chinese. The word 江, read /tɕiɑŋ˥/ in Mandarin and /kɔːŋ˥⁻˥˧/in Cantonese, is reconstructed as *klong or *krung in Old Chinese by Sinologists like Zhengzhang Shangfang, William H. Baxter, and Laurent Sagart. Additionally, initial clusters such as "tk" and "sn" were analysed in recent reconstructions of Old Chinese, and some were developed as palatalised sibilants. Another element of consonant clusters in Old Chinese were analysed in coda and post-coda position. Some "departing tone" syllables have cognates in the "entering tone" syllables, which feature a -p, -t, -k in Middle Chinese and Southern Chinese varieties. The departing tone was analysed to feature a post-coda sibilant, "s". Clusters of -ps, -ts, -ks, were then formed at the end of syllables. These clusters eventually collapsed into "-ts" or "-s", before disappearing altogether, leaving elements of diphthongisation in more modern varieties. Old Vietnamese also had a rich inventory of initial clusters, but these were slowly merged with plain initials during Middle Vietnamese, and some have developed into the palatal nasal.

Loanwords

Consonant clusters occurring in loanwords do not necessarily follow the cluster limits set by the borrowing language's phonotactics. These limits are called restraints or constraints (see also optimality theory). A loanword from Adyghe in the extinct Ubykh language, psta ('to well up'), violates Ubykh's limit of two initial consonants. Also, the English words sphere /ˈsfɪər/ and sphinx /ˈsfɪŋks/, Greek loanwords, violate the rule that two fricatives may not appear adjacently word-initially.

English

In English, the longest possible initial cluster is three consonants, as in split /ˈsplɪt/, strudel /ˈʃtruːdəl/, strengths /ˈstrɛŋθs/, and "squirrel" /ˈskwɪrəl/, all beginning with /s/ or /ʃ/ and ending with /l/, /r/, or /w/[3] and the second one is /p/, /t/ or /k/; the longest possible final cluster is five consonants, as in angsts in some dialects /ˈæŋksts/, though that is rare (perhaps owing to the fact that it is a derivative of a recent German loanword[4]). However, the /k/ can also be considered epenthetic; for many speakers, nasal-sibilant sequences in the coda require insertion of a voiceless stop homorganic to the nasal. For speakers without this feature, the word is pronounced without the /k/. Final clusters of four consonants, as in sixths /ˈsɪksθs/, twelfths /ˈtwɛlfθs/, bursts /ˈbɜːrsts/ (in rhotic accents) and glimpsed /ˈɡlɪmpst/, are more common. Within compound words, clusters of five consonants or more are possible (if cross-syllabic clusters are accepted), as in handspring /ˈhændspriŋ/ and in the Yorkshire place-name of Hampsthwaite /hæmpsθweɪt/.

It is important to distinguish clusters and digraphs. Clusters are made of two or more consonant sounds, while a digraph is a group of two consonant letters standing for a single sound. For example, in the word ship, the two letters of the digraph ⟨sh⟩ together represent the single consonant [ʃ]. Conversely, the letter ⟨x⟩ can produce the consonant clusters /ks/ (annex), /gz/ (exist), /kʃ/ (sexual), or /gʒ/ (some pronunciations of "luxury"). It is worth noting that ⟨x⟩ often produces sounds in two different syllables (following the general principle of saturating the subsequent syllable before assigning sounds to the preceding syllable). Also note a combination digraph and cluster as seen in length with two digraphs ⟨ng⟩, ⟨th⟩ representing a cluster of two consonants: /ŋθ/ (although it may be pronounced /ŋkθ/ instead, as ⟨ng⟩ followed by a voiceless consonant in the same syllable often does); lights with a silent digraph ⟨gh⟩ followed by a cluster ⟨t⟩, ⟨s⟩: /ts/; and compound words such as sightscreen /ˈsaɪtskriːn/ or catchphrase /ˈkætʃfreɪz/.

Korean

In Modern Hangul (Korean alphabet) there are 11 consonant-clusters : ㄳ, ㄵ, ㄶ, ㄺ, ㄻ, ㄼ, ㄽ, ㄾ, ㄿ, ㅀ, ㅄ. These come as the final consonant in a syllabic character and refer to consonant letters, not consonant sounds.

See also

References

  1. ^ J.C. Wells, Syllabification and allophony
  2. ^ The extent of consonant clusters in Moroccan Arabic depends on the analysis. Richard Harrell's grammar of the language postulates schwa sounds in many positions that do not occur in other analyses. For example, the word that appears as ktbu "they wrote" in Jeffrey Heath's Ablaut and Ambiguity: Phonology of a Moroccan Arabic Dialect appears as ketbu in Harrell's grammar.
  3. ^ If the ⟨ew⟩ /juː/ is thought of as consonant plus vowel rather than as a diphthong, three-consonant clusters also occur in words such as skew /ˈskjuː/
  4. ^ Harper, Douglas. "angst". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
Agbirigba

Agbirigba is a cant (or argot) based on the Ogbakiri dialect of the Nigerian language Ikwerre of Port Harcourt. There are about thirty speakers, from a persecuted section of the community.Agbirigba is unintelligible to other speakers of Ikwerre, but the rule for its derivation is simple: the consonant t is added before every CV syllable (or, more accurately, every CV mora). Some speakers add an epenthetic vowel to break up the resulting consonant cluster.

Aspirated consonant

In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of breath that accompanies either the release or, in the case of preaspiration, the closure of some obstruents. In English, aspirated consonants are allophones in complementary distribution with their unaspirated counterparts, but in some other languages, notably most Indian and East Asian languages, the difference is contrastive, while in Arabic and Persian, all stops are aspirated.To feel or see the difference between aspirated and unaspirated sounds, one can put a hand or a lit candle in front of one's mouth, and say spin [spɪn] and then pin [pʰɪn]. One should either feel a puff of air or see a flicker of the candle flame with pin that one does not get with spin.

Balinese script

The Balinese script, natively known as Aksara Bali and Hanacaraka, is an alphabet used in the island of Bali, Indonesia, commonly for writing the Austronesian Balinese language, Old Javanese, and the liturgical language Sanskrit. With some modifications, the script is also used to write the Sasak language, used in the neighboring island of Lombok. The script is a descendant of the Brahmi script, and so has many similarities with the modern scripts of South and Southeast Asia. The Balinese script, along with the Javanese script, is considered the most elaborate and ornate among Brahmic scripts of Southeast Asia.Though everyday use of the script has largely been supplanted by the Latin alphabet, the Balinese script has significant prevalence in many of the island's traditional ceremonies and is strongly associated with the Hindu religion. The script is mainly used today for copying lontar or palm leaf manuscripts containing religious texts.

Caddo language

Caddo is a Native American language, the traditional language of the Caddo Nation. It is critically endangered, with no exclusively Caddo-speaking community and only 25 speakers as of 2009 who acquired the language as children outside school instruction. Caddo has several mutually intelligible dialects. The most commonly used dialects are Hasinai and Hainai; others include Kadohadacho, Natchitoches and Yatasi.

Cambodian Braille

Cambodian or Khmer Braille is the braille alphabet of the Khmer language of Cambodia.

Chiwere language

Chiwere (also called Iowa-Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút'achi) was a Siouan language originally spoken by the Missouria, Otoe, and Iowa peoples, who originated in the Great Lakes region but later moved throughout the Midwest and plains. The language is closely related to Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago. Christian missionaries first documented Chiwere in the 1830s, but since then virtually nothing has been published about the language. Chiwere suffered a steady decline after extended European-American contact in the 1850s, and by 1940 the language had almost totally ceased to be spoken.

Cluster reduction

In phonology and historical linguistics, cluster reduction is the simplification of consonant clusters in certain environments or over time.

In some dialects of English such as AAVE certain historical consonant clusters reduce to single consonants at the ends of words: friend rhymes with Ben, and cold is homophonous with coal. In both cases, a historical cluster of homorganic consonants loses a stop: /ˈfrɛn/, /ˈkoʊl/ However, in colder, where the consonant cluster falls between vowels, the /d/ remains: /ˈkoʊldɚ/. The similar word-final reduction of */mb/ to /m/ and */ŋɡ/ to /ŋ/ is complete in standard English (e.g. lamb, long), as it is in many other Germanic languages (e.g. Swedish lamm, lång).

Italian is well known to have undergone cluster reduction, where stop clusters have become geminates. For example, Victoria has become Vittoria. In other words, articulation but not length has reduced. A similar occurrence is observed in Portuguese as well, but gemination is absent.

Cluster reduction also takes place in Catalan, and in a similar way as it happens in English. Certain consonant clusters placed at the end of a word are reduced: cent /sen/ instead of /sent/, although they recover the reduced consonant when the cluster falls between vowels: centenar /səntəˈna/. This phenomenon does not exist in Valencian, though: cent /sent/ and centenar /senteˈnaɾ/.

History of the Spanish language

The language known today as Spanish is derived from a dialect of spoken Latin that evolved in the north-central part of the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century. A written standard was developed in the cities of Toledo (13th to 16th centuries) and Madrid (from the 1560s). Over the past 1,000 years, the language expanded south to the Mediterranean Sea, and was later transferred to the Spanish colonial empire, most notably to the Americas. Today it is the official language of 20 countries, as well as an official language of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations.

Japanese manual syllabary

The Japanese Sign Language syllabary (指文字, yubimoji, literally "finger letters") is a system of manual kana used as part of Japanese Sign Language (JSL). It is a signary of 45 signs and 4 diacritics representing the phonetic syllables of the Japanese language. Signs are distinguished both in the direction they point, and in whether the palm faces the viewer or the signer. For example, the manual syllables na, ni, ha are all made with the first two fingers of the hand extended straight, but for na the fingers point down, for ni across the body, and for ha toward the viewer. The signs for te and ho are both an open flat hand, but in te the palm faces the viewer, and in ho it faces away.

Although a syllabary rather than an alphabet, manual kana is based on the manual alphabet of American Sign Language. The simple vowels a, i, u, e, o are nearly identical to the ASL vowels, while the ASL consonants k, s, t, n, h, m, y, r, w are used for the corresponding syllables ending in the vowel a in manual kana: ka, sa, ta, na, ha, ma, ya, ra, wa. The sole exception is ta, which was modified because the ASL letter t is an obscene gesture in Japan.

The other 31 manual kana are taken from a variety of sources. The signs for ko, su, tu (tsu), ni, hu (fu), he, ru, re, ro imitate the shapes of the katakana for those syllables. The signs for no, ri, n trace the way those katakana are written, just as j and z do in ASL. The signs hi, mi, yo, mu, shi, ku, ti (chi) are slight modifications of the numerals 1 hito, 3 mi, 4 yo, 6 mu, 7 shichi, 9 ku, 1000 ti. The syllable yu represents the symbol for 'hot water' (yu) displayed at public bath s. Other symbols are taken from words in Japanese Sign Language, or common gestures used by the hearing in Japan, that represent words starting with that syllable in Japanese: se from JSL "back, spine" (Japanese se); so from "that" (sore); ki from "fox" (kitsune); ke from "fault" (ketten), or perhaps "hair" (ke); te from "hand" (te); to from "together with" (to); nu from "to steal" (nusumu); ne from "roots" (ne); ho from "sail" (ho); me from "eye" (me), mo from "of course" (mochiron).

These signs may be modified to reflect the diacritics used in written kana. All the modifications involve adding an element of motion to the sign. The dakuten or ten ten, which represents voicing, becomes a sideways motion; the handakuten or maru, used for the consonant p, moves upwards, small kana and silent w move inwards, and long vowels move downwards.

That is, the voiced consonants are produced by moving the sign for the syllable with the corresponding unvoiced consonant to the side. (That is, to the right if signing with the right hand.) The manual kana ga, gi, gu, ge, go are derived this way from ka, ki, ku, ke, ko; likewise, those starting with z, d, b are derived from the s, t, h kana. The p kana are derived from the h kana by moving them upwards. The long vowel in kō (indicated in katakana by a long line) is shown by moving the sign ko downward. In written kana, a consonant cluster involving y or w is indicated by writing the second kana smaller than the first; a geminate consonant by writing a small tu for the first segment. In foreign borrowings, vowels may also be written small. In manual kana, this is indicated by drawing the kana that would be written small in writing (the ya, yu, yo, wa, tu, etc.) inwards, toward the body. This motion is also used to derive the kana wi, we, wo (now pronounced i, e, o) from the kana i, e, o.

Khmer script

The Khmer script (Khmer: អក្សរខ្មែរ; IPA: [ʔaʔsɑː kʰmaːe]) is an abugida (alphasyllabary) script used to write the Khmer language (the official language of Cambodia). It is also used to write Pali in the Buddhist liturgy of Cambodia and Thailand.

The Khmer script was adapted from the Pallava script, which ultimately descended from the Brahmi script, which was used in southern India and South East Asia during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. The oldest dated inscription in Khmer was found at Angkor Borei District in Takéo Province south of Phnom Penh and dates from 611. The modern Khmer script differs somewhat from precedent forms seen on the inscriptions of the ruins of Angkor. The Thai and Lao scripts are descendants of an older form of the Khmer script.

Khmer is written from left to right. Words within the same sentence or phrase are generally run together with no spaces between them. Consonant clusters within a word are "stacked", with the second (and occasionally third) consonant being written in reduced form under the main consonant. Originally there were 35 consonant characters, but modern Khmer uses only 33. Each character represents a consonant sound together with an inherent vowel, either â or ô; in many cases, in the absence of another vowel mark, the inherent vowel is to be pronounced after the consonant.

There are some independent vowel characters, but vowel sounds are more commonly represented as dependent vowels, additional marks accompanying a consonant character, and indicating what vowel sound is to be pronounced after that consonant (or consonant cluster). Most dependent vowels have two different pronunciations, depending in most cases on the inherent vowel of the consonant to which they are added. There are also a number of diacritics used to indicate further modifications in pronunciation. The script also includes its own numerals and punctuation marks.

Mātrika metre

Mātrika metre is a quantitative system of poetic metre in Indic languages.

The unit of measurement is the mātrā or 'beat', from which it takes its name. A short vowel or a pause is counted as one mātrā, and long vowels, diphthongs, or a short vowel followed by a consonant cluster counts as two mātrās. In recitation, however, 'long vowels may be pronounced as short, or short as long, in order to fit the words into the desired metre. For this reason, the mātrā count does not always correspond exactly to the written vowel arrangement.' Different mātrika metres have different rules determining caesurae; most require a specific pattern of rhyme.The most popular of these metres in Hindi are the chaupāī (sixteen mātrās), the chaupaī (fifteen mātrās), and the dohā (thirteen mātrās in the first and third feet and eleven, along with end-rhyme in the second and fourth).

Phonological history of English consonant clusters

The phonological history of the English language includes various changes in the phonology of consonant clusters.

Pig Latin

Pig Latin is a language game in which words in English are altered, usually by adding a fabricated suffix or by moving the onset or initial consonant or consonant cluster of a word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable to create such a suffix. For example, Wikipedia would become Ikipediaway (taking the 'W' and 'ay' to create a suffix). The objective is to conceal the words from others not familiar with the rules. The reference to Latin is a deliberate misnomer; Pig Latin is simply a form of argot or jargon unrelated to Latin, and the name is used for its English connotations as a strange and foreign-sounding language. It is most often used by young children as a fun way to confuse people unfamiliar with Pig Latin.

Shcha

Shcha (Щ щ; italics: Щ щ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. In Russian, it represents the voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative /ɕ(ː)/, similar to the pronunciation of ⟨sh⟩ in sheep (but longer). In Ukrainian and Rusyn, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt͡ʃ/. (This is also the sound it is normally taught to English speakers as because it is easier to distinguish from Sha's sound.) In Bulgarian, it represents the consonant cluster /ʃt/. In Kurdish, it represents the consonant /d͡ʒ/. Other non-Slavic languages written in Cyrillic use this letter to spell the few loanwords that use it or foreign names; it is usually pronounced /ʃ/ and is often omitted when teaching those languages.

In English, Shcha is romanized as ⟨shch⟩ or ⟨šč⟩ (with hačeks) (occasionally ⟨sch⟩, all reflecting the historical Russian pronunciation of the letter. That can lead to some confusion, as the ⟨ch⟩ in the transcription may seem to indicate that Щ is a combination of Ш and a strong Ч, which is true in Ukrainian but not Russian, where this sound is always more softened. The letter Щ in Russian and Ukrainian corresponds to ШЧ in related words in Belarusian.

Sievers's law

Sievers's law in Indo-European linguistics accounts for the pronunciation of a consonant cluster with a glide (*w or *y) before a vowel as it was affected by the phonetics of the preceding syllable. Specifically it refers to the alternation between *iy and *y, and possibly *uw and *w as conditioned by the weight of the preceding syllable. For instance, Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *kor-yo-s became Proto-Germanic *harjaz, Gothic harjis "army", but PIE *ḱerdh-yo-s became Proto-Germanic *hirdijaz, Gothic hairdeis /hɛrdiːs/ "shepherd". It differs from ablaut in that the alternation has no morphological relevance but is phonologically context-sensitive: PIE *iy followed a heavy syllable (a syllable with a diphthong, a long vowel, or ending in more than one consonant), but *y would follow a light syllable (a short vowel followed by a single consonant).

Virama

Virama (Sanskrit: विराम, virāma ? ्) is a generic term for the diacritic in many Brahmic scripts, including Devanagari and Bengali script, used to suppress the inherent vowel that otherwise occurs with every consonant letter. The name is Sanskrit for "cessation, termination, end". As a Sanskrit word, it is used in place of several language-specific terms, such as halant (Hindi: हलन्त, halant ? ्); halant (Marathi: हलंत, halant ? ्), hoshonto (Bengali: হসন্ত, hôsôntô ? ্); (Assamese: হসন্ত or হছন্ত, hoxonto or hosonto ? ্); (Sylheti: ꠢꠡꠘ꠆ꠔꠧ, ośonto ꠆); halantu (Telugu: హలంతు, halantu ? ్); pulli (Tamil: புள்ளி, puḷḷi ? ்), chandrakkala or viraamam (Malayalam: ചന്ദ്രക്കല/വിരാമം, candrakkala/viraamam ? ്); halanta (Kannada: ಹಲಂತ, halanta ? ್); halanta (Oriya: ହଳନ୍ତ, haḷanta ? ୍); halant (Punjabi: ਹਲਂਤ, halant ? ੍); a that (Burmese: အသတ်, a.sat IPA: [ʔa̰θaʔ], lit. "nonexistence" ်); karan (Thai: การันต์, pinthu (พินทุ), lit. "point" or "dot" or thanthakhat (ทัณฑฆาต)); and pangkon (Javanese: ꦥꦁꦏꦺꦴꦤ꧀).

In Devanagari and many other Indic scripts, a virama is used to cancel the inherent vowel of a consonant letter and represent a consonant without a vowel, a "dead" consonant. For example, in Devanagari,

क is a consonant letter, ka,

् is a virama; therefore,

क् (ka + virama) represents a dead consonant k.If this k क् is further followed by another consonant letter, for example, ṣa ष, the result might look like क्‌ष, which represents kṣa as ka + (visible) virama + ṣa. In this case, two elements k क् and ṣa ष are simply placed one by one, side by side. Alternatively, kṣa can be also written as a ligature क्ष, which is actually the preferred form.

Generally, when a dead consonant letter C1 and another consonant letter C2 are conjoined, the result may be:

A fully conjoined ligature of C1+C2;

Half-conjoined—

C1-conjoining: a modified form (half form) of C1 attached to the original form (full form) of C2

C2-conjoining: a modified form of C2 attached to the full form of C1; or

Non-ligated: full forms of C1 and C2 with a visible virama.If the result is fully or half-conjoined, the (conceptual) virama which made C1 dead becomes invisible, logically existing only in a character encoding scheme such as ISCII or Unicode. If the result is not ligated, a virama is visible, attached to C1, actually written.

Basically, those differences are only glyph variants, and three forms are semantically identical. Although there may be a preferred form for a given consonant cluster in each language and some scripts do not have some kind of ligatures or half forms at all, it is generally acceptable to use a nonligature form instead of a ligature form even when the latter is preferred if the font does not have a glyph for the ligature. In some other cases, whether to use a ligature or not is just a matter of taste.

The virama in the sequence C1 + virama + C2 may thus work as an invisible control character to ligate C1 and C2 in Unicode. For example,

ka क + virama + ṣa ष = kṣa क्षis a fully conjoined ligature. It is also possible that the virama does not ligate C1 and C2, leaving the full forms of C1 and C2 as they are:

ka क + virama + ṣa ष = kṣa क्‌षis an example of such a non-ligated form.

The sequences ङ्क ङ्ख ङ्ग ङ्घ [ŋka ŋkʰa ŋɡa ŋɡʱa], in correct Devanagari handwriting, should be written as conjuncts (the virama and the top cross line of the second letter disappear, and what is left of the second letter is written under the ङ and joined to it).

Wandamen language

Wandamen is the commonly used name for an Austronesian language of Indonesian New Guinea, spoken across the neck of the Doberai Peninsula or Bird's Head. However, several speakers of the Windesi dialect have stated that 'Wandamen' and 'Wondama' refer to a dialect spoken around the Wandamen Bay, studied by early missionaries and linguists from SIL. They affirm that the language as a whole is called 'Wamesa', the dialects of which are Wandamen, Windesi, and Bintuni.

X

X (named ex , plural exes) is the 24th and antepenultimate letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Zuni phonology

This article discusses the phonology of the Zuni language, spoken in the southwestern United States.

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