In linguistics, palatalization ( /ˌpælətəlaɪˈzeɪʃən/ or /ˌpælətəlɨˈzeɪʃən/), also palatization, may refer to two different processes by which a sound, usually a consonant, comes to be produced with the tongue in a position in the mouth near the palate.

In describing the phonetics of an existing language (i.e., in synchronic descriptions), a palatalized consonant is one pronounced with a palatal secondary articulation. This means that the consonant is pronounced as if followed very closely by the sound (a palatal approximant, like the sound of "y" in "yellow"). For example, in the Polish word kiedy ("when"), the letters ki represent a palatalized, indicated in IPA notation as, with a superscript "j". This sound is similar to the combination of "k" and "y" in English "thank you".

The other meaning of palatalization is encountered in historical linguistics, and refers to a sound change in which a consonant's place of articulation becomes closer to the palatal position. This change is often triggered by a following sound or a front vowel. For example, in Italian, before the front vowels e and i, the letter c (which otherwise represents, a velar consonant), has come to be pronounced as the palato-alveolar consonant, like English "ch" (see hard and soft c).

Palatalization of both types is widespread across languages in the world, though its actual manifestation varies. In some languages, such as the Slavic languages, palatal or palatalized consonants are frequently referred to as soft consonants, with others called hard consonants.

The term palatalized vowel is also sometimes used, to refer to a vowel that has become fronter or closer.

Read more about PalatalizationTypes, Phonetics, Local Uses of The Word

Other articles related to "palatalization, palatalizations":

Proto-Slavic - Historical Development - Regressive Palatalizations
... *č *g → *ž → ) *x → *š This was the first regressive palatalization ... front vowel ), the language underwent the second regressive palatalization, in which velar consonants preceding the new (secondary) phoneme *ě (derived from ... As with the progressive palatalization, these became palatovelar ...
Slavic Second Palatalization - Formulation
... aj/āj (< PIE *oy, *h₂ey/ay), which itself must have become *ē by the time the second palatalization started to occur *k > *t' > c *g > *d' > dz > z Proto-Slavic velar fricative *x that was ... The difference of the palatalization of *x is dependent upon chronology and the Slavic dialect in question In East and South Slavic it's /s/, and in West Slavic languages it's /š/ ... Second palatalization alternates s consonant clusters specifically Consonant alternations resulting from Proto-Slavic palatalizations Velar /sk/ /zg/ /sx/ Dental /sc/, /st/ /zd/ /sc/ In South Slavic languages ...
Slavic Second Palatalization - Interpretation
... The second palatalization has probably spread from Slavic south it started to operate sometimes between the end of the sixth and the middle of the seventh century CE, and the environments where it operated vary ... and Slovak, results of the second palatalization later were removed at junction of morphemes (i.e ... and Belarusian, however, the effect of second palatalization is still evident in such cases ...
Palatalization - Local Uses of The Word
... fricatives marked by a háček are really postalveolar consonants that arose from palatalization historically ... in Russian, when /t/ undergoes palatalization, a palatalized sibilant offglide appears, as in тема ... In Uralic linguistics, "palatalization" has the standard phonetic meaning ...
Bulgarski - Phonology - Consonants - Palatalization
... During the palatalization of most hard consonants (the bilabial, labiodental and alveolar ones), the middle part of the tongue is lifted towards the palatum, resulting in the formation ...