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You are here: Home / News & Events / Events / All Events Here / PSUxLING4: Joan Bybee (University of New Mexico) Directionality in Language Change: Lenition and Fortition

PSUxLING4: Joan Bybee (University of New Mexico) Directionality in Language Change: Lenition and Fortition

When Oct 13, 2017
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Where 127 Moore
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Directionality in Language Change:  Lenition and Fortition

Broad cross-linguistic trends in language change occur in all parts of language structure. Given the general trend in sound change towards lenition, cases of apparent fortition require examination. Results from a cross-linguistic database of phonological processes show that fortitions are very rare, but the most common type is glide strengthening, especially of palatal glides. This strengthening can be related to the common assimilation process of palatalization and a palatalizing type of language is proposed, with Romance languages as good examples of this type.