Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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Phonological Merger
(1,574 words)

Phonological merger may be defined as a structural change in the sound system of a language by which previously distinct phonemes become one phoneme. Therefore, merger results in the elimination of distinctions, the reduction of distinctive word classes (or lexical sets), and the loss of information. Mergers are very common in human languages, and more common than their counterpart processes which preserve distinctions (e.g. chain shifts) or create distinctions (e.g. phonological splits). An accepted property of mergers is that they always expand at the expense of …

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Enam Al-Wer, “Phonological Merger”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 02 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_vol3_0103>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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