Semivowels
(606 words)

Abstract

Semivowels are vowel-like sounds that behave as consonants. Semivowels /j/ and /w/ are the non-syllabic counterparts of /i/ and /u/.

Semivowels are vowel-like sounds that behave as consonants. Crosslinguistically, the palatal /j/ and labio-velar /w/ are the most common semivowels. Phonologically, these sounds are the non-syllabic counterparts of the high vowels /i/ and /u/: cf. ímen ‘we go’ vs. eîmi ‘I go’ and zugón ‘yoke’ vs. zeûgos ‘yoke of beasts’.

/w/, inherited from PIE, survived in Mycenaean and many first-millenn…

Cite this page
Alcorac Alonso Déniz, “Semivowels”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: First Last. Consulted online on 28 March 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000535>
First published online: 2013



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