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Features

Below is a list of the different features that we have tried to code for each language in the database. Not all languages are fully coded for all of the different features, and we welcome feedback to help address these gaps.

The features are arranged by kind, with syllable structure preceding segment restrictions, and segment restrictions preceding non-structural information about the language.

Syllable structure

Feature Description
Maximal onset How many C are allowed in the onset of a syllable
Maximal coda How many C are allowed in the coda of a syllable
CV language Does the language maximally allows CV syllables?
CVC language Does the language maximally allows CVC syllables?
CCV language Does the language maximally allows CCV syllables?
CCVC language Does the language maximally allows CCVC syllables?
Maximum CV contrasts How many CV open syllables does the language allow?
Ø onsets allowed? Does the language allows null onsets (that is, V-initial syllables)
Codas require onsets Is the presence of an onset can be predicted from the presence of a coda
Onset second C is preferentially glide Is the second consonant is preferentially a glide?
Any glides Does the language have glides?
Onset second C = y Is the second consonant is preferentially a glide (palatal)
Onset second C = w Is the second consonant is preferentially a glide (labialvelar)
Onset second C is preferentially liquid Is the second consonant is preferentially a liquid?
Any rhotics Does the language have rhotics?
Any laterals Does the language have laterals?
Liquid = r(-like) Is the second C is preferentially a liquid (rhotic)
Liquid = ell(-like) Is the second C is preferentially a liquid (liquid)
Coda = p t k glottal Is the code is preferentially a voiceless stop, such as [p], [t], [k] or [ʔ]
Coda = glottal stop Is the coda is preferentially a glottal stop
Palatals/Affricates (ts, c etc.) allowed as coda Is the code can be [ts]~[tʃ]~[c]: some sort of post-coronal, pre-velar plosive
Coda = nasal Is the coda is preferentially a nasal
Coda = ng Is the coda is preferentially a velar stop
Coda = r l Is the coda is preferentially a liquid
Coda = s Is the code is preferentially [s]
Coda = glide Is the code is preferentially a glide
C1 in a CC coda = nasal Whether in a coda of the form C1C2 C1 is preferentially a nasal
C1 in a CC coda = liquid Whether in a coda of the form C1C2 C1 is preferentially a liquid
C1 in a CC coda = glide Whether in coda of the form C1C2 C1 is preferentially a glide
C1 in a CC coda = glottal stop Whether in coda of the form C1C2 C1 is preferentially a glottal stop
C2 in a CC coda = s Whether in coda of the form C1C2 C2 is preferentially /s/
General epenthesis Does the language generally epenthesises vowels between two adjacent consonants?
Sesquisyllabic epenthesis Does the language displays epenthesis between two initial consonants?
Syllabic consonants Does the language allows syllabic consonants?
Syllabic nasals Does the language allows syllabic nasals?
Syllabic non-nasals Does the language allows syllabic consonants other than nasals?
Glottal stops in onsets? Can a glottal stop can occur in an onset?
Glottal stops in codas? Can a glottal stop can occur in a coda?
Velar nasals in onsets? Can a velar nasal can occur in an onset?
Velar nasals in codas? Can a velar nasal can occur in a coda?

Segmental specifications

Feature Description
Total consonants
Total vowels
Tonal contrasts
Total obstruents
Total sonorants
Total egressive consonants
Total plosives
Supralaryngeal Plosive places
Supralaryngeal Plosive series Includes contrasting affricate series
Plosive manners
Voiceless plosives?
Voiced plosives?
Aspirated plosives?
Ejective plosives?
Imploded/glottalised plosives?
Prenasalised plosives?
Prenasalised voiceless plosives?
Prenasalised aspirated plosives?
Prenasalised breathy plosives?
Fully voiceless prenasalised plosives?
Postnasalised plosives?
Breathy plosives?
Pharyngealised plosives
Rounded plosives?
Labialvelar stops?
Uvular stops?
glottal stop(s)
Coronal contrasts in stops?
How many coronal stop places (oral) are there?
Coronal affricates?
How many coronal affricate series are there?
Gap for /p/?
Gap for /c/?
Gap for /j/?
Gap for /g/?
Gaps for both /p/ and /c/?
Gaps for both /j/ and /g/?
Gaps for both /p/ and /g/?
Unexpected /b/ contrast?
Unexpected /d/ contrast?
Unexpected /j/ contrast?
Unexpected /g/ contrast?
t more front than d? Voiceless coronal stop more front than voiced counterpart?
d more front than t? Voiced coronal stop more front than voiceless counterpart?
Nasal stops?
Total nasals
Nasal places
Nasal manners
Glottalised nasals?
Voiceless nasals?
Breathy nasals?
Rounded nasals?
labiodental nasals
How many coronal nasal places are there?
retroflex nasals
palatal nasals
Velar nasals?
uvular nasals
labialvelar nasals
Fricatives?
Total fricatives
Fricative manners
Voiceless fricatives?
Voiced fricatives?
Glottalised fricatives?
Aspirated fricatives?
Rounded fricatives?
Prenasalised fricatives?
Ejective fricatives?
Dental fricatives?
Lateral fricatives?
Retroflex fricatives
Dorsal fricatives?
Pharyngeal fricatives
Any liquids?
Total liquids
Any rhotics? Does the language have rhotics?
Any laterals? Does the language have laterals?
Bilabial trills?
Total rhotics
Total lateral
Lateral places
Liquid manners
Voiceless liquids?
Glottalised liquids?
Breathy liquids?
Retroflex laterals?
Palatal laterals?
Velar laterals?
Clicks?
Total clicks
Bilabial clicks?
Dental clicks?
Alveolar clicks?
Lateral clicks?
Postalveolar clicks?
Palatal clicks?
Glides?
Glide manners
Glottalised glides?
Voiceless glides?
Breathy glides?
Linguolabials?
Uvular consonants?
Glottalised sonorants?
Voiceless sonorants?
Breathy sonorants?
Long vowels?
Nasalised vowels?
Front rounded vowels?
Contrastive vowel heights?
Topless vowel system (no /i/ or /u/)
Bottomless vowel system (no /a/)
Interior vowel system (contains schwa, barred-i etc.)
Contrastive vowel phonations
Creaky vowels
Breathy vowels
Pharyngealised vowels
Tense vowels
Voiceless vowels

Non-phonological

Feature Description
SOV Does the language allow a SOV word order in clauses?
SVO Does the language allow a SVO word order in clauses?
VSO Does the language allow a VSO word order in clauses?
VOS Does the language allow a VOS word order in clauses?
OVS Does the language allow a OVS word order in clauses?
OSV Does the language allow a OSV word order in clauses?

Metadata

Feature Description
Language family What family does the language belong to?
Language family subgroup:1 What first-order subgroup in that family?
Language family subgroup:2 What first-order subgroup in that family?
Language family subgroup:3 What first-order subgroup in that family?
Language family subgroup:4 What first-order subgroup in that family?
Language family subgroup:5 What first-order subgroup in that family?
Is this language an isolate? Is the language an isolate?
World macro-region One of six regions: Africa, Australia, Eurasia, New Guinea, North America, South America
WALS area One of six regions used in WALS: Africa, Australia and New Guinea, Eurasia, North America, South America, Southeast Asia and Oceania
Autotyp One of 24 regions defined by the Autotyp project
Country Main country in which the language is spoken
Ancient language Is the language only attested through old written sources, or reconstructions?
Altitude Altitude of a centroid point for the language
Eastness (Counting east from -20 degrees longitude)

Updated:  2 July 2013/Responsible Officer:  Director, CHL /Page Contact:  Phonotactics maintenance