Questions tagged [phoneme-inventories]

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3
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1answer
30 views

Is there a database/website etc. where I can check which languages have two or more given segments and which treat them as separate phonemes

Say I have two very close segments/sounds/phones (I am using these terms synonymously, and using it in contrast to “phoneme”). Eg. Φ (voiceless bilabial fricative) VS f (voiceless labiodental ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Have ejective consonants ever arisen on their own?

In an old comment on another question, jlawler mentions in passing: Much the same can be said about ejective consonants -- other languages can pick them up, but nobody knows where they come from. ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What fraction of compound phonemes actually exist in natural language?

Are there phoneme sequences ("pairs") that have not been found in any natural language? I imagine there are some number of sequences that are physically impossible, but also some that are physically ...
0
votes
3answers
246 views

If these letter pairs are used to distinguish two words in any language

Wondering if there are languages in which there are 2 words, 1 containing letter (a) and the other containing letter (b), such that they sound pretty much the same, yet they mean different things. The ...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Are there languages that ban t+S (esh) sequences but have a č phoneme?

I’m not expert in typology, but I wonder if it’s possible for a language to ban t+S sequences but have a phoneme č. Does anyone know of an example of one such language?
1
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3answers
312 views

Why are languages with average vowel inventory size scattered?

Is it true that languages with average vowel inventory size (5-6 Vs) are most widely scattered? How can this be explained?
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Are there any languages that use rapidly repeated or stammered/stuttered sounds for differentiation?

Ignoring languages such as spanish that distinguish between /ɾ/ and /r/, as such is not what I refer to, are there any languages that would differentiate between say, /p/ and /ppp/. It is a weird ...
0
votes
0answers
230 views

Phonemic inventory of Supraregional Irish English vs. RP - vowel in FACE

Here's a question about English accent comparison. It's about the differences in phonemic inventory of Irish Supraregional compared to RP. Is the Irish English vowel in the lexical set FACE /e:/ a ...
4
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2answers
1k views

How is an archiphoneme represented on the phonetic level?

Consider an archiphoneme N that can be realized as n, ng, or as a nasal on a vowel depending on the context. Is this representation, below, standard i.e. with the archiphoneme as a capital letter on ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Are there languages that disallow initial vowels and lack glottal stop?

Which, if any, of the world's languages have both the following features? Syllable-initial vowels are disallowed; all syllables must begin with a consonant. There is no glottal stop phoneme.