Definition of palatalize in English:


(British palatalise)


[with object]Phonetics
  • 1Make (a speech sound) palatal, especially by changing a velar to a palatal by moving the point of contact between tongue and palate further forward in the mouth.

    ‘the sound is palatalized in some dialects’
    • ‘Palatalized and plain consonants do not contrast in words with non-pharyngeal vowels.’
    • ‘Such consonants are phonetically palatalized, and in the International Phonetic Alphabet they are indicated by a superscript 'j'.’
    • ‘It has the soft, palatalized value /s/ before e, i, y: cell, city, cite, cycle, fancy.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, when followed by unstressed i and another vowel, t is commonly palatalized to produce the voiceless palato-alveolar fricative sh sound.’
    • ‘These transformations have led, in fact, to some of the most distinguishing characteristics of the different branches of the IE family (e.g. the ‘soft’ palatalized consonants in the Slavic languages).’
    1. 1.1no object (of a speech sound) become palatal.
      ‘the frontal allophone of ‘g’ appears to have palatalized first’
      • ‘In reality k palatalized first into k@.’
      • ‘The view that it is these clusters that palatalized first is supported by Rumanian data.’