fortition

Fortition is a consonantal change from a 'weak' sound to a 'strong' one, the opposite of the more common lenition. For example, a fricative or an approximant may become a plosive (i.e. [v] becomes [b] or [r] becomes [d]). An approximant is also considered to be affected by fortition if it becomes a fricative. Voiced plosives or fricatives becoming voiceless can also be considered fortition.

Examples

The extremely common approximant sound [j/span>]] is sometimes subject to fortition; being a semivowel, almost any change to the sound save from simple deletion would constitute fortition. It has changed into the very rare voiced fricative /span>]] in a number of indigenous languages of the Arctic, such as the Eskimo-Aleut languages and Ket, and also in some varieties of Spanish. Via a voiceless palatal approximant, it has turned in some Germanic languages into /span>]], the voiceless equivalent of [ʝ] and also cross-linguistically rare though less so than [ʝ]. Another change turned [j] to an affricate [dʒ/span>]] during the development of the Romance languages, possibly through an intermediate stop /span>]].

Fortition of the cross-linguistically rare interdental fricatives [θ] and [ğ] to the almost universal corresponding stops [t] and [d] is relatively common. This has occurred in most continental Germanic languages and several English dialects, several Uralic languages, and a few Semitic languages, among others.

Fortition also frequently occurs with voiceless versions of the common lateral approximant [l/span>]], which are usually source from combinations of [l] with a voiceless obstruent. The product is a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative [ɬ].

An example of simultaneous fortition and lenition is Spanish, which changed [b] into [β] medially, but exhibits the opposite change in initial position. This resulted in the corresponding phonemes (written b and v) merging into one.

See also

Lenition is a kind of consonant mutation that appears in many languages. Along with assimilation, it is one of the primary sources of the historical change of languages.

Lenition means 'softening' or 'weakening' (from Latin lenis
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Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These are the lower lip against the upper teeth in the case of [f]
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Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. In the articulation of approximants, articulatory organs produce a narrowing of the vocal tract, but leave enough space for air to flow without much audible turbulence.
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stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. The terms plosive and stop are usually used interchangeably, but they are not perfect synonyms.
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The palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is j.
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The voiced palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʝ
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Arctic is the region around the Earth's North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. In the northern hemisphere, the Arctic includes the Arctic Ocean (which overlies the North Pole) and parts of Canada, Greenland (a territory of Denmark), Russia, the United
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Eskimo-Aleut is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. Also called Eskaleut (Eskaleutian, Eskaleutic), Eskimoan or Macro-Eskimo, it consists of the Eskimo languages (known as Inuit
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The Ket language, formerly known as Yenisei Ostyak, is a Siberian language isolate, the sole surviving language of a Yeniseian language family, spoken along the middle Yenisei Basin by the Kets.
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 Spanish, Castilian
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Writing system: Latin (Spanish variant)
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2:
ISO 639-3: —

Spanish (
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Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. The common ancestor of all languages comprising this branch is Proto-Germanic, spoken in approximately the latter mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age Northern Europe.
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The voiceless palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ç, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is C.
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The voiced palato-alveolar fricative or domed postalveolar affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is [ʤ]
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Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family that comprisies all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire.
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The voiced palatal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɟ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is J\.
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Interdental consonants are produced by placing the blade of the tongue against the upper incisors. This differs from a dental consonant in that the tip of the tongue is placed between
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Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. The common ancestor of all languages comprising this branch is Proto-Germanic, spoken in approximately the latter mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age Northern Europe.
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This is a list of varieties of the English language. Dialects are varieties differing in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar from each other and from Standard English (which may itself be considered a dialect).
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Uralic languages (pronounced: /jʊˈɹælɪk/) constitute a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people.
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Semitic languages are a family of languages spoken by more than 300 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. They constitute the northeastern subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic languages, and the only branch of this group spoken in Asia.
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Laterals are "L"-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue.
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Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. In the articulation of approximants, articulatory organs produce a narrowing of the vocal tract, but leave enough space for air to flow without much audible turbulence.
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The alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral approximants is l
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obstruent is a consonant sound formed by obstructing outward airflow, causing increased air pressure in the vocal tract.

Obstruents are those articulations in which there is a total closure or a stricture causing friction, both groups being associated with a
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The voiceless alveolar lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar fricatives is
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phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes meaning. Phonemes are not the physical segments themselves, but abstractions of them. An example of a phoneme would be the /t/ found in words like tip,
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Consonant mutation is the phenomenon in which a consonant in a word is changed according to its morphological and/or syntactic environment.

Mutation phenomena are found in languages around the world.
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Grimm's law (also known as the First Germanic Sound Shift) is a set of statements describing the inherited Proto-Indo-European (PIE) stops as they developed in Proto-Germanic (PGmc, the common ancestor of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family) in the 1st millennium BC.
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Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics) is the study of language change. It has five main concerns:
  • to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages;

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