Phonetic correspondence

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According correspondence ( English sound correspondence ) is a terminus of the historical comparative linguistics . It describes a series of equivalent sounds in genetically related languages ​​that have resulted from a particular sound in the proto- language of this language family .

Indo-European phonetic equivalents

As an example, the sound equivalents of some important Indo-European languages (adapted from Watkins 2000, phonetic representation).

Indo-European * p * t * k * k w * b * d *G * g w *bra * ie * gh * g w h * s
Hittite p t k ku p t k ku p t k ku s
Sanskrit p t ś k / c b d j g / j bra ie H gh / h s / ṣ
Avestisch p t s k / c b d z g / j b d z g / j H
Old Church Slavonic p t s k / č / c b d z g / ž / z b d z g / ž / z s
Lithuanian p t š k d d ž G d d ž G s
Armenian H th s kh p t c k b d j G H
Greek p t k p / t / k b d G b / d / g ph th kh ph / th / kh H
Latin p t k qu b d G v f f H f s
Old Irish - t c c b d G b b d G b s
Gothic f th H hw / w p t k q b d G b / g s
Old High German f d H hw / w p / pf z k qu b t / d G b / g s

Sino-Tibetan phonetic equivalents

A second example shows the sound equivalent of initial consonants of the word root in some Sino-Tibetan languages ​​(based on Benedict 1972):

Sinotibian * p * t * k * b * d *G * ts * dz * s * e.g. *H
Tibetan p (h) t (h) k (h) b d G ts (h) dz s z H
Jingpho p (h), b t (h), d k (h), g b, p (h) d, t (h) g, k (h) ts, dz dz, ts s z O
Burmese p (h) t (h) k (h) p t k ts (h) ts s s H
Garo p (h), b t (h), d k (h), g b, p (h) d, t (h) g, k (h) s, ts (h) ts (h) th s O
Mizo p (h) t (h) k (h) b d k s f th f H

The sounds after the comma are secondary developments. The alternate aspiration is not phonemic.

From the phonetic correspondence to the phonetic law

The phonemes of the proto- language can be reconstructed from the sound correspondences in genetically related languages, which are systematically obtained from as many word equations as possible , and finally the sound laws of this language family can be derived, e.g. B. Indo-European proto-language / * p / becomes / h / in Armenian, / f / in Old High German and is omitted in Old Irish.


  • Watkins, Calvert: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Houghton Mifflin, Boston - New York 2000.
  • Benedict, Paul K .: Sino-Tibetan. A Conspectus. Cambridge University Press 1972. ISBN 978-0-521-11807-1 .

Web links

Wiktionary: phonetic correspondence  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations