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Definition of "palatal" [pal•a•tal]

  • Of or relating to the palate. (adjective)
  • Linguistics Produced with the front of the tongue near or against the hard palate, as the (y) in English young. (adjective)
  • Linguistics Produced with the blade of the tongue near the hard palate, as the (ch) in English chin. (adjective)
  • Linguistics Produced with the front of the tongue in a forward position. Used of a vowel. (adjective)
  • Linguistics A palatal sound. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "palatal" in a sentence
  • "In a normal mouse embryo, groups of cells called the palatal shelf on either side of the mouth grow outward, elevate to meet in the middle and fuse to form the palate."
  • "So the following will proceed by just assuming that the "non-palatal stop" series are uvulars which are aligned with *h₂, and that the "palatal" series (*ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ) is the unmarked "plain stop" series (*k, *g and *gh)."
  • "I will go out on a limb and bet that the few words that are reconstructed with these sequences of *ke or *ek are falsely reconstructed, either because they are based on false evidence, because the proof points rather to its "palatal" counterpart, or because the vowel in question should be long n.b. that long vowels resist colouring normally caused by neighbouring *h₂."