I am looking for a list of the most frequent syllables of all languages spoken on earth, sorted by frequency.
I found such lists for english and for german, but I want to get a list across all languages.
Suppose you can count every syllable that is spoken on earth within 24 hours. Syllables from languages with many speakers like Chinese (Mandarin), English or Hindi are more often used then syllables from rare languages like Esperanto or Klingon and so are ranked higher in the list. And within one language there are syllables that are more often used then others.
I know, what I want will be hard to realize. So I also would be happy with separate lists of the languages with many speakers, lets say with the top-200 syllables. (I'm not interested in rare syllables, my focus is on common syllables. For the same reason I'm not interested in rare languages.)
And I really want spoken syllables, not written di- and tri-graphs ("
the" is a trigraph, not a syllable. It can be the written representation of the syllable
/ðə/ but also part of
Here are the lists that I've found:
Columns from left to right:
- Ranging position.
- The syllable.
- This number tells you how often this syllable can be heard when one million words are spoken (which means, that frequent words are repeated many times and therefore theirs syllables are counted more often)
- Take a dictionary of all German words, where flexions of the same lexeme are distinct words (run, runs, ran and running would be listed as four different words). Count how often the syllable appears in this dictionary (the dictionary itself contains 365.530 different German words.)
This list is sorted by the 3rd column, and this is exactly what I want. This column answers this question:
When you listen to Germans speaking one million words, how often can you hear which syllable?
I'm not interested in the 4th column.
This list has only 3 columns, where #1 and #2 are identical with the first two columns of the German list. Columns #3 is the same as the German col#3, but in the German list you have counts per million, in the english you have percent, which is just another representation of the same thing.
How would I use those lists to create an all-language-list?
In the english list I would convert the numbers in column 3 into counts per million like in the German list. Then I need the number of native speakers per language. Such a list can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_number_of_native_speakers
As you see, English had 360 million native speakers in 2010, and German had 89 million native speakers in the same year. So I multiply the (converted) english numbers by 360, and multiply the numbers in columns #3 of the German list with 89, and then merge both lists. If there are syllables used in english as well as in German (like [ɪn]), I add both wighted numbers. Then I sort this list again by those numbers.
The result is a list of the most frequent syllables of the German and English spoken part of the world.
And because I am interested in the most frequent syllables, it is safe to ignore rare languages, among which you will find all languages, that not have been studied.
And to give you an example what I am not looking for: http://www.sttmedia.com/syllablefrequency-english There you find numbers of digrams and trigrams, but this are not phonetic syllables!
Addendum 2 (March 2018)
I think I better tell you the context. (What do I want to do with this list?)
I am writing a fantasy story. There was a small group of aliens traveling through space, and they got lost. They had technical problems and they stranded on a planet that turned out to be our planet earth. This happened thousands of years ago, and all humans on earth are descendants form this small group, and all languages spoken on earth today derived form the language of this small group of invaders.
I want to construct a language, that could be the proto-language of the first humans on earth.
My second goal is to make this language as easy to be pronounced by everybody on this planet, as possible. I want that people from China find it as easy to pronounce as people from Saudi Arabia, from Russia, from the USA, from Namibia, and so on.
I think that i don't need a set of common phonemes to combine, but a set of very common syllables, because even wide spread phonemes can be hard to be pronounced, when you use unusual combinations.
I want to try to build an artlang that is made of common syllables, and this is why I am looking for the most frequent spoken syllables on earth.
btw: When two syllables are similar, I want to count them as identical. For example the english words "I, eye, ay, aye" and the German "Ei" are all the same syllable (/aɪ/).