AskDefine | Define sandhi

Dictionary Definition

sandhi n : the articulatory process whereby the pronunciation of a word or morpheme changes when it is followed immediately by another (especially in fluent speech)

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From etyl sa sc=Deva.

Noun

  1. A cover term for a wide variety of phonological processes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries, such as the fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of sounds due to neighboring sounds or due to the grammatical function of adjacent words.

Extensive Definition

Sandhi (Sanskrit "joining") is a cover term for a wide variety of phonological processes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries (thus belonging to what is called morphophonology). Examples include the fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of sounds due to neighboring sounds or due to the grammatical function of adjacent words. Sandhi occurs particularly prominently in Sanskrit phonology, hence its name, but many other languages have it.
As a non-English word, the pronunciation of the word "sandhi" is rather diverse among English speakers. According to Sanskrit phonology it can be pronounced /sən̪d̪ʰi/. Acceptable English pronunciations include /ˈsʌndi/ (identical with "Sunday" for some British English speakers), /ˈsændi/ (identical with "sandy" for those speakers without the bad-lad split), and /ˈsɑndi/ among others.

Types of sandhi

  • Internal sandhi features the alteration of sounds within words at morpheme boundaries, as in sympathy (syn- + pathy).
  • External sandhi refers to changes found at word boundaries, such as in the pronunciation [tɛm bʊks] for ten books. This is not true of all dialects of English. The Linking R of some dialects of English is a kind of external sandhi, as is the process called liaison in the French language.
While it may be extremely common in speech, sandhi (especially external) is typically ignored in spelling, as is the case in English, with the exception of the distinction between "a" and "an" (sandhi is, however, reflected in the writing system of Sanskrit). External sandhi effects can sometimes become morphologized (i.e. apply only in certain morphological and syntactic environments) and, over time, turn into consonant mutations.
Most tonal languages have tone sandhi, in which the tones of words alter according to pre-determined rules. For example: Mandarin has four tones: a high monotone, a rising tone, a falling-rising tone, and a falling tone. In the common greeting nǐ hǎo, both words in isolation would normally have the falling-rising tone. However, this is difficult to say, so the tone on nǐ is pronounced as ní (but still written nǐ in Hanyu Pinyin).

See also

External links

sandhi in Tosk Albanian: Sandhi
sandhi in Breton: Sandhi
sandhi in Czech: Sandhi
sandhi in German: Sandhi
sandhi in Erzya: Сандхи
sandhi in French: Sandhi
sandhi in Galician: Sandhi
sandhi in Indonesian: Sandhi
sandhi in Dutch: Sandhi
sandhi in Japanese: 連音
sandhi in Polish: Sandhi
sandhi in Portuguese: Sandhi
sandhi in Kölsch: Sandhi
sandhi in Russian: Сандхи
sandhi in Finnish: Sandhi
sandhi in Thai: สนธิ (ไวยากรณ์)
sandhi in Chinese: 连音
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