Palatalization

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Related to palatalize: palletized, Palatalized consonants
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Palatalization

 

(also softening of consonants), a secondary articulation that involves raising the middle part of the back of the tongue to the hard palate to modify the basic articulation of consonants. Palatalization may be combined with any basic consonantal articulation except dorsal. Since the position of the tongue in palatalization is similar to its position in forming the vowel [i], palatalized consonants have an [i]-vowel coloring. Acoustically, palatalization involves the creation of pitches of a higher frequency.

Palatalization is widespread in many languages before front vowels, especially [i]. It is very important in Russian, since it serves as a distinctive feature of phonemes, as in luk (“onion”) and liuk (“hatch”).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, the third person prefix y- palatalizes a following root-initial nasal:
Now, if the so-called palatalization process were "psychologically real" in the sense of Sapir (1949 [1933]) and others, we would expect velarinitial roots to palatalize upon reduplication, since they come to be followed by front vowels in certain contexts.
(13) Sorbian ([11h]; Wowcerk 1954: 24-25) palatalizes /t d/ before /i j/, e.g., hro[d] 'castle' vs.