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Pashto phonology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amongst the Iranian languages, the phonology of Pashto is of middle complexity, but its morphology is very complex.[1]

Consonants

Labial Denti-
alveolar
Retroflex Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
Plosive p b t d ʈ ɖ k ɡ q ʔ
Affricate t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Fricative f s z ʂ ʐ ʃ ʒ ç ʝ x ɣ h
Approximant l j w
Rhotic r ɺ̢ 

Foreign consonants

Phonemes that have been borrowed are colour-coded. The phonemes /q/, /f/ tend to be replaced by [k], [p].[2]

Notes on consonants

  1. [m] voiced bilabial nasal
  2. [n] voiced post-dental nasal; non-phonemic allophones are [ŋ] before [k] and [g], and [ɳ] before [ʈ] and [ɖ], and [ɲ] before [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ], and [m] before [b] and [p]
  3. [ɳ] voiced retroflex nasal flap
  4. [p] voiceless bilabial stop, somewhat aspirated prevocalically, especially in a stressed syllable
  5. [b] voiced bilabial stop, unaspirated
  6. [t] voiceless post-dental stop, somewhat aspirated prevocalically in a stressed syllable
  7. [d] voiced post-dental stop, unaspirated
  8. [ʈ] voiceless retroflex stop, somewhat aspirated prevocalically in a stressed syllable
  9. [ɖ] voiced retroflex stop, unaspirated
  10. [k] voiceless velar stop, somewhat aspirated when prevocalic in a stressed syllable
  11. [g] voiced velar stop, unaspirated
  12. [t͡s] voiceless post-dental affricate, slightly aspirated in a stressed syllable
  13. [d͡z] voiced post-dental affricate, not aspirated
  14. [t͡ʃ] voiceless palato-alveolar affricate, slightly aspirated in a stressed syllable
  15. [d͡z] voiced palato-alveolar affricate, unaspirated
  16. [s] voiceless post-dental spirant
  17. [z] voiced post-dental spirant
  18. [ʂ] voiceless retroflex spirant; used in the Southwest dialects (represented by ښ])
  19. [ʐ] voiceled retroflex spirant; used in the Southwest dialects (represented by ږ])
  20. [ʃ] voiceless palato-alveolar spirant
  21. [ʒ] voiced palato-alveolar spirant
  22. [ç] voiceless palatal fricative; used in the Wardak and Central Ghilji dialects (represented by ښ])
  23. [ʝ] voiced palatal fricative; used in the Wardak and Central Ghilji dialects (represented by ږ])
  24. [x] voiceless velar fricative
  25. [ɣ] voiced velar fricative
  26. [h] voiceless glottal fricative; dropped in most Southwest dialects and Waṇētsī
  27. [l] voiced post-dental lateral, non-fricative, medium clear
  28. [j] voiced palatal continuant
  29. [w] voiced labio-dental continuant
  30. [r] voiced post-dental flap, single in most dialects
  31. [ɽ] voiced back-alveolar retroflex flap

Voiceless stops [p, t, t͡ʃ, k] are all unaspirated, like Spanish, other Romance languages, and Austronesian languages; they have slightly aspirated allophones prevocalically in a stressed syllable, almost like English.

Phonotactics

Pashto syllable structure can be summarized as follows; parentheses enclose optional components:

  • (C1 (C2)) (S1) V (S2) (C3 (C4))

Pashto syllable structure consists of an optional syllable onset, consisting of one or two consonants; an obligatory syllable nucleus, consisting of a vowel optionally preceded by and/or followed by a semivowel; and an optional syllable coda, consisting of one or two consonants. The following restrictions apply:

  • Onset
    • First consonant (C1): Can be any consonant, including a liquid (/l, r/).
    • Second consonant (C2): Can be any consonant. (see #Consonant Clusters below)
  • Nucleus
    • Semivowel (S1)
    • Vowel (V)
    • Semivowel (S2)
  • Coda
    • First consonant (C3): Can be any consonant
    • Second consonant (C4): Can be any consonant

Consonant clusters

Pashto also has a liking for word-initial consonant clusters in all dialects; some hundred such clusters occurs. However consonant gemination is unknown to Pashto.[3]

Examples
Two Consonant Clusters /t̪l/, /kl/, /bl/, /ɣl/, /lm/, /nm/, /lw/, /sw/, /br/, /t̪r/, /ɣr/, /pr/, /d̪r/, /wr/, /kɽ/, , /wɽ/ /xp/, /pʃ/, /pʂ/, /xr/, /zb/, /zɽ/, /ʒb/, /d͡zm/, /md͡z/, /t͡sk/, /sk/, /sp/, /ʃp/, /ʂk/, /xk/, /ʃk/, /kʃ/, /kx/, /kʂ/, /ml/, /gr/, /gm/ and /ʐm/ etc.
Three Consonant Clusters /sxw/, /xwɽ/, /xwl/, /nɣw/ etc.

Vowels

Most dialects in Pashto have seven vowels and seven diphthongs.[4]

Front Near-front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e ə o
Open a ɑ

Waziri vowels

In Waziri dialect the [ɑ] in Standard Pashto becomes [ɔː] in Northern Waziri and [ɒː] in Southern Waziri.[5]

In Waziri dialect the stressed [o] in Standard Pashto becomes [œː] as in the word [/lor/] meaning 'sickle' becomes [/lœːr/] and [ɛː] as in the word [/oɽəˈ/] meaning 'flour' becomes [/ɛːɽəˈ/] .[6] The [o] in Standard Pashto may also become [(y)e] as in the word [/yeʒaˈ/] meaning 'shoulder' from [/ogaˈ/] or [/oʐaˈ/].[7]

Diphthongs

Front Central Back
High [uɪ]
Mid [əi] [oɪ]
Low [aɪ] and [aw] [ɑi] and [ɑw]

Orthography of diphthongs

Initial Medial Final
ای َيـ َی
əi ۍ
اوی ويـ وي
اوی ويـ وي
aw او َو َو
ɑi آي اي اي
ɑw آو او او


Diphthongs in dialects

The diphthongs varies according to dialect. The stressed diphthong [aɪ] changes to [æɪ] in the Mohmand dialect and [a] in Wanetsi. The diphthong [əi] used to indicate feminine noun gender changes to [ʌi] in the Afridi dialect (and also iyé), [i] in Wanetsi and [ʌi] in Kâkaṛi. The long diphthongs [ɑi] and [ɑw] becomes [ɑe] and [ɑo], respectively, in most Northeastern dialects.[8]

Stress

Pashto has phonemic variable stress, unique amongst Iranian languages.[9]

For instance the pronouns are differently inflected:

Pronoun Meaning Pronoun Meaning
haɤá that, he háɤa that one, he (emphatic)
daɤá this, he dáɤa this one, he (emphatic)

In verbs to distinguish aspect:

Verb Meaning Verb Meaning
kẍenɑstǝ́ləm I was sitting kẍénɑstələm I sat down
ba kẍenǝ́m I shall be sitting ba kẍénəm I shall sit

In verbs to distinguish mood:

Verb Meaning Verb Meaning
pregdǝ́m I leave prégdəm that I leave

References

  1. ^ Josef Elfenbein (1997). Alan S. Kaye, ed. Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 736. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  2. ^ Tegey, Habibullah; Robson, Barbara (1996). A Reference Grammar of Pashto (PDF). Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics. p. 15. 
  3. ^ Josef Elfenbein (1997). Alan S. Kaye, ed. Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 737. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  4. ^ Anne Boyle David (2013). Descriptive Grammar of Pashto and Its Dialects. Walter de Gruyter. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-61451-303-2. 
  5. ^ Alan S. Kaye (1997). Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 748. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  6. ^ Alan S. Kaye (1997). Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 748. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  7. ^ Alan S. Kaye (1997). Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 749. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  8. ^ Josef Elfenbein (1997). Alan S. Kaye, ed. Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. pp. 751 to 753. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
  9. ^ Josef Elfenbein (1997). Alan S. Kaye, ed. Phonologies of Asia and Africa: Including the Caucasus. Eisenbrauns. p. 737. ISBN 978-1-57506-019-4. 
This page was last modified on 17 April 2017, at 16:20.
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