Questions tagged [phonemes]

The discrete and distinctive units constituting the internalized inventory of sounds of a language. A sequence of phonemes is the preverbal form of a word. Phonemes may be systematically distorted upon verbalization, resulting in an allophone. Phonemes and allophones are both "phones".

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7
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1answer
80 views

Is mouthing phonemic in American Sign Language or other sign languages?

To be precise about my question: are there any pairs of signs in ASL or other sign languages where mouthing different words is the only thing which distinguishes two signs from one another? I’m asking ...
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Amharic Emphatics vs Arabic pharyngeals

I grew up speaking Arabic, and I am very comfortable with sounds like ص,ط,ض, etc. However, I was looking at Amharic out of curiosity, and noticed that in place of these pharyngeals, Amharic has ...
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1answer
283 views

Are there any languages in which a simple puff of air (like blowing out a candle) is phonemic?

There are languages (English among them) that have a voiceless labialized velar approximant (ʍ in IPA), but that's not quite the sound I'm after. I'm also trying to distinguish this sound from ...
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26 views

Resource for finding languages that contain certain phonemes [duplicate]

In particular /w~b/ or other sounds that could be transcribed as <w> or <b>. Background: A person gave his name variously as 'John Barosa' or 'John Warosa' in writing from which I figured ...
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1answer
63 views

What is the dividing line between phonetics and phonology? [duplicate]

From my understanding, Phonetics is the study of physical aspect of sounds, including how sounds are produced (articulatory phonetics), how they are perceived (auditory phonetics) and the physics ...
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31 views

Hypercorrection or reverse compensation/substitution?

What is the correct name for the phenomenon in phonetics/phonology when an L2 speaker of English reverse compensates/substitutes a phoneme. I'd be grateful for some references. I'm sure I read about ...
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31 views

How can I obtain a list / cross-comparison table of phonemes in the world's languages? (preferably in softcopy, online etc., and in the IPA) [duplicate]

How can I obtain a list / cross-comparison table of the occurrences of phonemes in the world's languages? (preferably in softcopy, online etc.) I am looking for something like: ...
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1answer
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What's the right phonetic transcription of the word man?

Is it [mɛən] or [mæən] ? I've seen both of them in some videos; however, I'm not really sure Which one of them truly represents the sound (with the æ raising).
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71 views

Do stressed (in e.g. English) or pitched (in e.g. Japanese) phones contribute to different phonemes?

In proper tonal languages such as cantonese or mandarin, the phones a phoneme comprises of share the same tone. In other words, mā (in pinyin) and má are clearly different phonemes. If I were to look ...
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58 views

Frequency of phonemes in Indian languages

I would like to know the relative frequency of phonemes in Indian languages whose sript is basically very close to Devanagiri. We need this data to make a pronunciation based keyboard layout for ...
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1answer
124 views

Why does the NATO Spelling alphabet contain words with more than two syllables

I always wondered why the NATO Spelling Alphabet has words with three syllables in it. I know it was extensively researched, so there must be a reason, but it seems odd to me. One syllable seems ...
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Can loudness of speech sounds influence meaning?

In Chinese, words can have different meanings if their tones are changed, e.g. 是 (shì) and 十 (shí). In Italian, words can have different meanings if a consonant is geminated, e.g. sete and sette. My ...
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Phonemes or allophones?

In our coursebook, introducing phonology by David Odden, one of the exercise questions asks us to decide if the obstruents of Thai are phonemes or allophones. My teacher says they are allophones but ...
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1answer
69 views

Is there a sound that we make when speaking that is not resonant?

Is there a sound that we make when speaking that is not resonant? I just recorded myself humming a vowel sound, and when I play it back there seems to be a resonant sound, one defined by the movement ...
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Is the “p” in “spin” really a “b”?

Daniel Everett claims in Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes (Ch. 11) that the English "p" and "b" in "pin" and "bin" are separate phonemes, since they alone distinguish the words "pin" and "bin," whereas ...
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What is the phonetic transcription of the Lithuanian name Austėja? [closed]

I do not know how to transcribe this name.
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Is the study of triphthongs a must to master English phonology?

Most universities in India are teaching only pure vowels (monophthongs), and diphthongs. Now we find triphthongs. ... Is the study of triphthongs a must to master the phonology of English? ...
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Phonetic distortion when words are borrowed among languages

When languages borrow words from other languages, they sometimes deliberately distort words to make them phonetically easier to pronounce. For example, when Japanese speakers are taught the word "...
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2answers
157 views

Phonetic characters of Arabic emphatic consonants

My native language is Korean. I'm not learning Arabic, but I'm curious anyway. Refer to the following link for the letter names I recorded myself: Arabic pharyngeal consonants I think I can ...
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1answer
94 views

Relationship between Uvular and Dorsal Consonants articulation

I have a question regarding the physiological production of uvular and dorsal consonants. what are the physiological aspect of both consonants articulation? As uvular consonants articulated with the ...
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2answers
231 views

How can I write an interdental lateral in phonetic transcription?

Inspired by this answer here is my question: How can I write a interdental lateral in phonetic transcription (IPA preferred, but not a necessary requirement, other wide spread phonetic notation ...
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English phonemes audio database

I need an audio file database with any audio format which will contain the 44 English phonemes spoken by different speakers.
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1answer
110 views

Marking phoneme boundaries - how to decide on the transitions?

I'm currently labelling some singing data, which contains very slow transitions between vowels. The data often have prenuclear glides and diphthongs together. The picture below is an instance (the ...
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3answers
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Is the distinction between phoneme and allophone useful in language learning?

IPA purpose seems straightforward to me: map all the known ways to produce sounds using the mouth to symbols and, for a specific language standard/dialect, map the possible sounds of it to these ...
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1answer
2k views

Which language has the most vowel phonemes?

Which language has the largest number of vowels with minimal pairs?
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Are any of the Old Chinese reconstructions for「能」plausible descendants of Proto-Sino-Tibetan /*dɣwjəm/?

(Apologies if this is off-topic.) The Chinese character「能」was originally a picture of a kind of bear. The character was once used to represent a word meaning bear, but this word doesn't appear to ...
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1answer
71 views

With SSML phoneme tags using IPA phonetic symbols, how can I insert pauses to slow down pronounciation?

Note For my text to speech engine (I use Cereproc, William Voice). The engine can be used on the website here: https://www.cereproc.com/ and it supports the ssml tags used in this question.. ...
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1answer
123 views

The meaning of /ě/ (ѣ)

What does ˇ (haček) in *ě 'yat' mean?
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126 views

Do these vowel sounds “slip” in languages such as Spanish and Hebrew?

As far as I can tell based on recordings of languages such as Spanish and Hebrew, the phonemes /e i o u/ or /ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ/ tend to "slip" freely between being [e i o u] and being [ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ]. Is this true, ...
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2answers
205 views

Does assimilation of voice produce different phonemes, or just allophones?

During assimilation of voice, voiced consonants become voiceless and vice versa: s - z, d - t, etc. cats ([ts]) dogs ([ɡz]) missed ([st]) whizzed ([zd]) Are these sound pairs different phonemes, or ...
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257 views

Why do we transcribe the vowel sound in 'how' as /aʊ/?

The diphthong /aʊ/ doesn't really make sense to me as a transcription. I'm a Southern British English speaker, and when I say and hear 'how' it sounds to me like /hæɒw/. /a/ doesn't seem to exist as ...
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3answers
3k views

Why does schwa have a special place among vowels?

What makes schwa so special? On my phonology exam my tutor phrased the question something like: Why is schwa the ruler/king of vowels? I don't know what he meant by this but I suppose it's got ...
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1answer
763 views

Complementary distribution and defective distribution

I'm not sure if I understood what complementary distribution and defective distribution mean. I have a definition that complementary distribution is an automatic, i.e. obligatory positional variation ...
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2answers
630 views

Which accents distinguish “golf” and “gulf”?

From Wikipedia's article on the NATO spelling alphabet: The IPA form of Golf implies it is pronounced gulf, which is neither General American English nor British Received Pronunciation. However, ...
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2answers
263 views

Phonology: Exemplars vs. Abstract Phoneme Theory

I have come across an essay title asking us to critique the evidence of language being processed as either “abstract phonemes” or “surface exemplars”. (Specifically in phonology) Is this a rewording ...
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1answer
139 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 ...
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1answer
132 views

Why does John Batchelor record these vowels for Ainu?

Reverend John Batchelor who recorded some early Ainu literature had a peculiar orthography, where he records word-final vowels where phonemically there is none. Words like kor or mosir, he spells koro ...
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1answer
550 views

How linguists select phonemes to construct an alphabet for a language

For languages without written alphabets, wondering how a linguist goes out in the field and determines, "hey, these are the core sounds of the language" and defines an alphabet in terms of those ...
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2answers
186 views

If there is really an /ə/ between /dəɹ/ in “quandary”

In considering words with -er ending like "quandary" /ˈkwɑːn.dəɹɪ/, it seems like to me there is no difference between that IPA /ˈkwɑːn.dəɹɪ/ and /ˈkwɑːn.d.ɹɪ/, or "quand-ree". The [r] is like "rrrr" ...
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1answer
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Finding fundamental particles of sound In ASR systems?

Q1. Can we divide phonemes which are specific to a language into some more fundamental entities same across all languages ? Q2. Will this help us in achieving language independent acoustic modelling ?...
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Why are phonemic transcriptions necessary, when phonetic transcriptions are more detailed (and more helpful for language learners)?

Ian Roberts, Prof. of Linguistics, Univ. of Cambridge. The Wonders of Language (2017 1 ed). p. 27 Middle Be sure to get your terminology right: phonetics is the study of the speech sounds ...
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250 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 ...
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1answer
356 views

The language with the most sounds or variation

Trying to get a sense of what a complicated language sounds like, all the different pronunciations possible. Wondering if one could link to one of the most complicated spoken languages today. I just ...
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1answer
91 views

Why is [n] easy to be velarized efter a back rounded vowel?

So [n] becomes similar to [ŋ], as in "on" and "-ion". What is the phonetic phenomenon and in what languages becomes /ŋ/ separated diachronically from /n/ affected by the vowels?
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2answers
157 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?
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1answer
53 views

Correct to say that accent defines the mapping between phones and phonemes?

I'm trying to become acquainted with the language (hah) of linguistics (specifically speech perception, from the perspective of auditory signal processing), so that I can write and converse about the ...
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3answers
215 views

Sounds that are treated as phonetically equivalent

I suspect that I will not use the right terminology here. Apologies in advance. Is there a word for the phenomenon in which speakers of a language treat two different sounds as equivalent, even ...
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0answers
497 views

Whats the average duration of English phonemes?

I found this paper on phoneme length in the Polish language, but I can't see to find anything like this for English. Polish Phoneme Length Paper: http://www.dsp.agh.edu.pl/_media/pl:ltc-001-ziolko....
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2answers
541 views

Choice of phonemic symbol for /b/, /d/, /g/, /ʝ/ in Spanish

Wikipedia states this on the Spanish consonants /b/, /d/, /ɡ/ and /ʝ/: The phonemes /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are realized as approximants (namely [β̞, ð̞, ɣ˕]) or fricatives in all places except after a ...
5
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1answer
599 views

Why do so many languages have both an alveolar “light L” [l] and a velarized “dark L” [ɫ] allophone?

Various dialects in all three of English, Portuguese, and Dutch have accents that contain velarized L allophones, which are sometimes known as “dark L’s”, at the syllable coda. Why is this? There are ...