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In phonetics and phonology, gemination (/ˌɛm-/), or consonant lengthening (from Latin geminatio 'doubling', itself from gemini 'twins'[1]), is an articulation of a consonant for a longer period of time than that of a singleton consonant. It is distinct from stress. Gemination is represented in many writing systems by a doubled letter and is often perceived as a doubling of the consonant.[2] Some phonological theories use "doubling" as a synonym for gemination, others describe two distinct phenomena.[2]

Consonant length is a distinctive feature in certain languages, such as Arabic, Berber, Maltese, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Classical Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Other languages, such as the English language, do not have phonemic consonant geminates (i.e. there is no minimal pair in English that differs by gemination). Vowel length is distinctive in more languages than consonant length.[citation needed]

Consonant gemination and vowel length are independent in languages like Arabic, Japanese, Finnish and Estonian; however, in languages like Italian, Norwegian and Swedish, vowel length and consonant length are interdependent. For example, in Norwegian and Swedish, a geminated consonant is always preceded by a short vowel, while an ungeminated consonant is preceded by a long vowel. A clear example are the Norwegian words "tak" ("ceiling or roof" of a building, pronounced with a long /ɑː/), and "takk" ("thanks", pronounced with a short /ɑ/.[citation needed]

Phonetics

Lengthened fricatives, nasals, laterals, approximants and trills are simply prolonged. In lengthened stops, the obstruction of the airway is prolonged, which delays release, and the "hold" is lengthened.

In t

Consonant length is a distinctive feature in certain languages, such as Arabic, Berber, Maltese, Catalan, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Classical Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Other languages, such as the English language, do not have phonemic consonant geminates (i.e. there is no minimal pair in English that differs by gemination). Vowel length is distinctive in more languages than consonant length.[citation needed]

Consonant gemination and vowel length are independent in languages like Arabic, Japanese, Finnish and Estonian; however, in languages like Italian, Norwegian and Swedish, vowel length and consonant length are interdependent. For example, in Norwegian and Swedish, a geminated consonant is always preceded by a short vowel, while an ungeminated consonant is preceded by a long vowel. A clear example are the Norwegian words "tak" ("ceiling or roof" of a building, pronounced with a long /ɑː/), and "takk" ("thanks", pronounced with a short /ɑ/.[citation needed]

Lengthened fricatives, nasals, laterals, approximants and trills are simply prolonged. In lengthened stops, the obstruction of the airway is prolonged, which delays release, and the "hold" is lengthened.

In terms of consonant duration, Berber and Finnish are reported to have a 3 to 1 ratio, compared with around 2 to 1 (or lower) in Japanese, Italian, and Turkish.[3]

Phonology

Gemination of consonants is distinctive in some languages and then is subject to various phonological constraints that depend on the language.

In some languages, like Italian, Swedish, Faroese, Icelandic, and Luganda, consonant length and vowel length depend on each other. A short vowel within a stressed syllable almost always precedes a long consonant or a consonant cluster, and a long vowel must be followed by a short consonant. In Classical Arabic, a long vowel was lengthened even more before permanently-geminate consonants.

In other languages, such as Finnish, consonant length and vowel length are independent of each other. In Finnish, both are phonemic; taka /taka/ "back", takka /takːa/ "fireplace" and taakka /taːkːa/ "burden" are different, unrelated words. Finnish consonant length is also affected by consonant gradation. Another important phenomenon is sandhi, which produces long consonants at word boundaries when there is an archiphonemic glottal stop |otaʔ se| > otas se "take it!"

In addition, in some Finnish compound words, if the initial word ends in an e, the initial consonant of the following word is geminated: jätesäkki "trash bag" [jætesːækːi], tervetuloa "welcome" [terʋetːuloa]. In certain cases, a v after a u is geminated by most people: ruuvi "screw" /ruːʋːi/, vauva "baby" [ʋauʋːa]. In the Tampere dialect, if a word receives gemination of v after u, the u is often deleted (ruuvi [ruʋːi], vauva [ʋaʋːa]), and lauantai "Saturday", for example, receives a medial v [lauʋantai], which can in turn lead to deletion of u ( [laʋːantai]).

Distinctive consonant length is usually restricted to certain consonants. There are very few languages that have initial consonant length; among them are Pattani Malay, Chuukese, Moroccan Arabic, a few Romance languages such as Sicilian and Neapolitan as well as many High Alemannic German dialects, such as that of Thurgovia. Some African languages, such as Setswana and Luganda, also have initial consonant length: it is very common in Luganda and indicates certain grammatical features. In colloquial Finnish and spoken Italian, long consonants are produced between words because of sandhi.[citation needed]

The difference between singleton and geminate consonants varies within and across languages

In terms of consonant duration, Berber and Finnish are reported to have a 3 to 1 ratio, compared with around 2 to 1 (or lower) in Japanese, Italian, and Turkish.[3]

Gemination of consonants is distinctive in some languages and then is subject to various phonological constraints that depend on the language.

In some languages, like Italian, Swedish, Faroese, Icelandic, and Luganda, consonant length and vowel length depend on each other

In some languages, like Italian, Swedish, Faroese, Icelandic, and Luganda, consonant length and vowel length depend on each other. A short vowel within a stressed syllable almost always precedes a long consonant or a consonant cluster, and a long vowel must be followed by a short consonant. In Classical Arabic, a long vowel was lengthened even more before permanently-geminate consonants.

In other languages, such as Finnish, consonant length and vowel length are independent of each other. In Finnish, both are phonemic; taka /taka/ "back", takka /takːa/ "fireplace" and taakka /taːkːa/ "burden" are different, unrelated words. Finnish consonant length is also affected by consonant gradation. Another important phenomenon is sandhi, which produces long consonants at word boundaries when there is an archiphonemic glottal stop |otaʔ se| > otas se "take it!"

In addition, in some Finnish compound words, if the initial word ends in an e, the initial consonant of the following word is geminated: jätesäkki "trash bag" [jætesːækːi], tervetuloa "welcome" [terʋetːuloa]. In certain cases, a v after a u is geminated by most people: ruuvi "screw" /ruːʋːi/, vauva "baby" [ʋauʋːa]. In the Tampere dialect, if a word receives gemination of v after u, the u is often deleted (ruuvi [ruʋːi], vauva [ʋaʋːa]), and lauantai "Saturday", for example, receives a medial v [lauʋantai], which can in turn lead to deletion of u ( [laʋːantai]).

Distinctive consonant length is usually restricted to certain consonants. There are very few languages that have initial consonant length; among them are Pattani Malay, Chuukese, Moroccan Arabic, a few Romance languages such as Sicilian and Neapolitan as well as many High Alemannic German dialects, such as that of Thurgovia. Some African languages, such as Setswana and Luganda, also have initial consonant length: it is very common in Luganda and indicates certain grammatical features. In colloquial Finnish and spoken Italian, long consonants are produced between words because of sandhi.[citation needed]

The difference between singleton and geminate consonants varies within and across languages. Sonorants show more distinct geminate-to-singleton ratios while sibilants have less distinct ratios. The bilabial and alveolar geminates are generally longer than velar ones.[3]

The reverse of gemination reduces a long consonant to a short one, which is called degemination. It is a pattern in Baltic-Finnic consonant gradation that the strong grade (often the nominative) form of the word is degeminated into a weak grade (often all the other cases) form of the word: taakka > taakan (burden, of the burden). As a historical restructuring at the phonemic level, word-internal long consonants degeminated in Western Romance languages: e.g. Spanish /ˈboka/ 'mouth' vs. Italian /ˈbokka/, which continue Latin geminate /kk/.[citation needed]

Written Arabic indicates gemination with a diacritic (ḥaraka) shaped like a lowercase Greek omega or a rounded Latin w, called the شَدَّة shadda: ّ . Written above the consonant that is to be doubled, the shadda is often used to disambiguate words that differ only in the doubling of a consonant where the word intended is not clear from the context. For example, in Arabic, Form I verbs and Form II verbs differ only in the doubling of the middle consonant of the triliteral root in the latter form, e. g., درس darasa (with full diacritics: دَرَسَ) is a Form I verb meaning to study, whereas درّس darrasa (with full diacritics: دَرَّسَ) is the corresponding Form II verb, with the middle r consonant doubled, meaning to teach.

Berber

In Berber, each consonant has a geminate counterpart, and gemination is lexically contrastive. The distinction between single and geminate consonants is attested in medial position as well as in absolute initial and final positions.

  • ini "say"
  • inni "those in question"
  • akal "earth, soil"
  • akkal "loss"
  • imi "mouth"
  • immi "mother"
  • ifis "hyena"
  • ifiss "he was quiet"
  • tamda "pond, lake, oasis"
  • tamedda "brown buzzard,

    In Berber, each consonant has a geminate counterpart, and gemination is lexically contrastive. The distinction between single and geminate consonants is attested in medial position as well as in absolute initial and final positions.

    • ini "say"
    • inni "those in question"
    • akal "earth, soil"
    • akkal "loss"
    • imi "mouth"
    • immi "mother"
    • ifis "hyena"
    • ifiss "he was quiet"
    • tamda "pond, lake, oasis

      In addition to lexical geminates, Berber also has phonologically-derived and morphologically-derived geminates . Phonologically-derived geminates can surface by concatenation (e.g. [fas sin] 'give him two!') or by complete assimilation (e.g. /rad = k i-sli/ [rakk isli] 'he will touch you'). The morphological alternations include imperfective gemination, with some Berber verbs forming their imperfective stem by geminating one consonant in their perfective stem (e.g. [ftu] 'go! PF', [fttu] 'go! IMPF'), as well as quantity alternations between singular and plural forms (e.g. [afus] 'hand', [ifassn] 'hands').

      Austronesian languages

      Austronesian languages in the Philippines, Micronesia, and Sulawesi are known to have geminate consonants.[4]

      Kavalan

      The The Formosan language Kavalan makes use of gemination to mark intensity, as in sukaw "bad" vs. sukkaw "very bad".[4]

      TuvaluanThe Polynesian language Tuvaluan allows for word-initial geminates, such as mmala "overcooked".[5]

      Indo-European languages

      Danish has a three-way consonant length d

      Danish has a three-way consonant length distinction. For instance:

      • bunde [b̥ɔnə] "bottoms"
      • bundne [b̥ɔnnə] "bound" (pl.)
      • bundene [b̥ɔnn̩nə] "the bottoms"<

        The word bundene can phonemically be analyzed as /bɔnənə/, with the middle schwa being assimilated to [n].

        English

        In English phonology, consonant length is not distinctive within root words. For instance, baggage is pronounc

        In English phonology, consonant length is not distinctive within root words. For instance, baggage is pronounced /ˈbæɡɪ/, not */bæɡːɪdʒ/. However, phonetic gemination does occur marginally.

        Gemination is found across words and across morphemes when the last consonant in a given word and the first consonant in the following word are the same fricative, nasal, or fricative, nasal, or stop.[6]

        For instance:

        With affricates, however, this does not occur. For instance:

        • orange juice [ˈɒrɪndʒ.dʒuːs]

        In most instances, the absence of this doubling does not affect the meaning, though it may confuse the listener momentarily. The following minimal pairs represent examples where the doubling does affect the meaning in most accents:

        • ten nails versus ten ales
        • this sin versus this inn
        • five valleys versus five alleys
        • his zone versus his own
        • unnamed [ʌnˈneɪmd] versus unaimed [ʌnˈeɪmd]
        • forerunner [ˈfɔːrˌrənər] versus foreigner [ˈfɔːrənər] (only in some varieties of General American)

        In some dialects gemination is also found for some words when the suffix -ly follows a root ending in -l or -ll, as in:

        • solely [ˈsoʊl.li]

        but not

        • usually [ˈjuːʒ(ʊə)li]

        In some varieties of Welsh English, the process takes place indiscriminately between vowels, e.g. in money [ˈmɜn.niː] but it also applies with graphemic duplication (thus, orthographically dictated), e.g. butter [ˈbɜt̚.tə][7]

        French