Definition of sound shift in English:

sound shift

noun

Linguistics
  • A systematic change in the pronunciation of a set of speech sounds as a language evolves.

    shift
    • ‘Philologists have referred to them as P-Celtic in contrast to Goidelic as Q-Celtic, on the basis of a sound shift of q to p which split an earlier tongue known as Common Celtic.’
    • ‘Crimean Gothic had undergone the same ‘jj’ to- ‘d' sound shift attested by many Visigothic words.’
    • ‘Such sound shifts in comparative linguistics parallel, almost uncannily, the slow march of genetic mutations as offspring populations gradually separate from a parent stock.’
    • ‘Rask had seen something no one else had noticed: between some Germanic streams of language and the others a regular sound-shift had occurred transforming the sounds of B, D, and G into those of P, T, and K.’
    • ‘The first sound shift, affecting both English and German, was from the early phonetic positions documented in the ancient, or classical, Indo-European languages (Sanskrit, Greek, Latin) to those still evident in the Low German languages, including English.’

Pronunciation:

sound shift

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