Talk:Hiatus (linguistics)

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"One of the languages which demands hiatus is Swahili." What does this even mean? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Orcoteuthis (talkcontribs) 14:11, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I hasn't studied Swahili, but it sounds like they don't avoid hiatus, which I suppose you could describe as demanding it, because it'd become contrastive, but even so that's kind of an odd way to put it. There's probably an upper limit on hiatus even if that is the case. (talk) 14:04, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd imagine it means that under some or all circumstances it must be present in a word or sentence Pureferret (talk)


Are there any examples from english? Without them I'm struggling to understand this article.Pureferret (talk) 06:05, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

If you read down to Diaresis... Akerbeltz (talk) 11:52, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Those aren't the only examples, though. Hiatus just means there are two vowels next to each other that aren't in the same syllable. Examples include Bowie, freeing, chaos, museum, and so on. —Angr (talk) 19:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Those are a bit iffy, since the first vowel is a diphthong; you might analyze them as VGV rather than VV. For me, co-operate in the marked sense of operating together has hiatus, but normal cooperate doesn't. Hiatus without any intervening glide is rather difficult for most English speakers. — kwami (talk) 20:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
How do you manage to have a diphthong in the first syllable of Bowie but not in the first syllable of co-operate? For me, if I'm going to put a secondary stress on the first syllable of co-operate to indicate that I really mean "operate together" rather than, y'know, "cooperate", then if anything I'm inclined to break the hiatus with a glottal stop: [ˌkoʊˈʔɑpəreɪt] vs. [koʊˈ(w)ɑpəreɪt]. Some examples with no diphthongs include "(oohing and) aahing", baaing, drawing; but these examples only work for people without intrusive r. —Angr (talk) 20:53, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The diff tween Bowie and co-operate is that I pronounce the first as a simple word, and the second as a compound, with the off-glide clearly in the first syllable only. But I doubt the distinction is robust. (Part of the problem of inventing examples.) You're right, drawing is unambiguous hiatus for me. Interesting that intrusive ar interrupts IMO the only true hiatus in my English. — kwami (talk) 01:38, 10 May 2011 (UTC)


Seems our definition is inconsistent with vowel cluster. By 'not in the same syllable', we mean 'diphthong', but at vowel cluster you can be in the same syllable and still be in hiatus. Or so it would seem.

Not sure about the Finnish example. — kwami (talk) 20:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I removed the example (aie pronounced as three syllables). Ai is usually a diphthong, and although I couldn't find a printed dictionary that would indicate syllabification, wikt:aie and fr:wikt:aie seem to agree with my intuition that the normal pronunciation is ai.e. A similar word is also mentioned as an example in [1] (p. 51): "There are also sequences of three and four vowels, decomposable into combinations of shorter sequences. For example, ai.emmin ‘earlier’, [...]" --Hrisse (talk) 14:04, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Treatment of aea in Hawaiian as polysyllabic[edit]

I have to disagree with the statement as this word and many others are pronounced without any hiatus between the letters. Being monosyllabic the initial a receives the stress and not the middle e. The ʻokina(Glottal Stop) is pronounce more like a hiatus in common speech then as most documents state the break between "OhOh!". Thus, for each letter to be pronounced without a w or y glide it would need to be written ʻaʻeʻa resulting in consonant-vowel pairs and would not be consider the same word. The same is true for the word Oia(O[w]i[y]a) the O receives the stress and not the i. This can be found in the well known song A Oia.

Something else to note is that in Hawaiian speech, sentences lack plus juncture between words so the only breaks occur with an ʻokina. In the sentence E hana au i ka ʻāina. Would be spoken Ehanaauika aaina with w and y glides between(a[w]u[w]i). It is the stress on the vowels that tell us where the different particles are.

Just my 2 cents Palakakau (talk) 01:16, 16 April 2014 (UTC)