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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10
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2answers
3k views

How does the nonsense word “frabjous” conform to English phonotactics?

I am aware that this question is rather more complex than I am treating it, but I am looking for a few general rules (e.g. basic phonotactic constraints) that would lead to the conclusion that the ...
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Visemes analogue for phoneme pangram?

There are several famous short texts which covers most of the English phonemes. For example "With tenure, Suzie'd have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good." ...
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How to find allophones and phonemes in a foreign language?

I have problems with finding allophones and phonemes in foreign languages. My paper says this: Consider the phones [e], [æ] and [ɛ] in the Russian data. Are they allophones of a single phoneme, or do ...
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4answers
954 views

Any languages that consider the alveolar and uvular trill distinct consonant phonemes?

I am intrigued by the difference between alveolar and uvular trills (and related phones) within and across languages, e.g., per this map of European /r/ usage (taken from this comment), which seems to ...
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Who decides the phonemes of a given language?

Who decides the phonemes of a given language and on what basis do they decide? Do the phonemes of a language change over time, if so, who changes them? I am extremely confused about this question ...
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Intuitive phonemic transcription systems for various languages

When a text or video about pronunciation is aimed at the average reader, it often doesn't use the IPA to represent sounds. Instead, it might talk about the "AW" sound as in law, the "AH&...
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1answer
35 views

Phoneme production metrics

(Apologies in advance for the expected misuse of terminology; I am not a linguist. Please correct as appropriate.) I am considering a Deep Learning language evolution experiment and would like to ...
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1answer
91 views

What is the difference between phone (speech sound) and a sound?

I am not sure if I am asking a question in the right site. I don't know know if I am even asking a biological, linguistic or physics question. But I recently started learning about language and its ...
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1answer
54 views

is there a /c/ vs. /k/ or /g/ vs /ɟ/ minimal pair in turkish

i checked the wiki subarticle "Consonants" and there is an example of /kar/ vs /ca:r/ (youglish link, as evidence for ":") which might not be a good minimal pair. do you know one? /...
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What is the percentage of words that are phonemically regular in english?

I know that English has a deep orthography. I am wondering whether someone could tell me what the percentage of English words are governed by regular letter-sound rules? Thank you
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1answer
86 views

What part of speech is a phoneme?

I wanted to know what part of speech a phoneme might be or I wanted to know if a phoneme might be a part of speech and I wanted to know if a phoneme can be an affix. I also wanted to know what a ...
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2answers
441 views

Voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate in english?

The "officially" voiceless alveolar-palatine affricate does not exist in English. But I can clearly hear it in the sentence "Ouch that hurt" (when the computer reads this sentence ...
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1answer
49 views

Looking for contrastive feature hierarchies for Irish, Manx and/or Scottish Gaelic

Where might I find ready-made contrastive feature hierarchy trees for these languages? In the case that they aren’t available anywhere online, I may need to make my own, in which case I’m looking for ...
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981 views

Evidence that ø and œ are separate phonemes in French?

Are there any minimal pairs between ø and œ or other evidence that these are separate phonemes? I have been studying French, and so far it seems like ø is found in open syllables and œ is found in ...
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1answer
95 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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2answers
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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
355 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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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
99 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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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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35 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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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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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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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
148 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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3answers
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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
73 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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1answer
81 views

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
209 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
100 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
256 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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148 views

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
120 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
688 views

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
3k views

Which language has the most vowel phonemes?

Which language has the largest number of vowels with minimal pairs?
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2answers
351 views

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
93 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
132 views

The meaning of /ě/ (ѣ)

What does ˇ (haček) in *ě 'yat' mean?
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3answers
140 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
269 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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0answers
265 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
935 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
920 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
340 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
191 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 ...