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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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has anybody given this definition of a phoneme "phonemes are the elements a language uses to make new words"?

With reference to English: This definition would exclude things like aspiration - ("This pit" versus "the spit"), gemination ("night rain" vs "night train") ...
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Which English syllable contains the most phonemes?

I'm working on a set of modifications to Hangul which would allow it to completely express USAmerican English. The project has been going delightfully smooth so far, and I'm writing some stress-test ...
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Is the Alveolar Tap the Same as a Very Brief Alveolar Plosive?

Is the alveolar tap executed with the same tongue movement as in the alveolar plosive except that in the case of the alveolar tap, the tongue tip strikes and moves away from the alveolar ridge so ...
André's user avatar
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How did οι merge with υ and υι in Koine?

Before the merger of ι and υ, there was a previous merger between υ, υι, and οι. υι makes sense as it was the long equivalent of υ. I’m still unsure how οι came to be pronounced as /y/.
Quinali Solaji's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
208 views

Does California English have an additional vowel phoneme?

I've noticed that my pronunciation of the word only differs from the General American pronunciation (I'm from coastal California). This is the pronunciation of only that I assume is General American: ...
BilliamOrWobForShort's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there any way to numerically describe phonetic sounds?

I've been theorizing if it's possible to create an automatic transliteration program between two different languages that use two different writing systems. So, I was wondering if there are certain ...
Capnsockless's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
850 views

Languages with [yø̯]

The Finnish language has the (presumably) extremely rare diphthong [yø̯], which is a front rounded vowel opening and falling diphthong. I know that this diphthong also exists in some other Finnic ...
Someone211's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
112 views

What's the nasal phoneme before the "n" in "didn't"?

I've noticed that, in informal American english, we don't pronounce the word "didn't" exactly as /ˈdɪd(ə)nt/. There's a nasal sound right before the "n" that sound a bit like the /...
The_Animator's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
178 views

Is there any reliable way to organize phonemes that aren't in the IPA?

I'm coming up with an idea for a game that simulates the evolution of languages, but to do that and make it the most realistic, I would need to put in the sounds that the IPA says are possible but we ...
Anonymous's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
334 views

Phonemes vs. Distinctive Feature Theories

I'm a high school student who will be going to college to study linguistics next fall. I'm already knowledgeable about some areas, but I'm currently trying to expand my knowledge in phonology. I have ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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Representation of /o/ phoneme in Cuneiform

I was reading Wikipedia's introduction into the Elamite language, where it says that it had a vowel inventory of /a/, /e/, /i/ and /u/. “What a coincidence,” I thought, “just like Akkadian!” Now, ...
Wtrmute's user avatar
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What written notation is used in IPA for the letter "A" in the English words "hand", "man", "and", et cetra?

In American English, the letter "A" is pronounced at least five different ways. What written symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used for the vowel, or vowel group, shown ...
Samuel Muldoon's user avatar
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1 answer
291 views

What this difference between phonemic and phonetic transcriptions? [duplicate]

Consider the Wikipedia article for phoneme, this is in Norwegian but one can easily translate, I will use this example for asking the question. Fonemer er vanligvis plassert mellom skråstreker i ...
kiriloff's user avatar
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3 answers
215 views

Bilabial speech sounds with lower lip inserted between teeth

I have noticed the existence of several phones that can be produced with a place of articulation that I haven't seen discussed before. Basically, the two lips contact each other (as in bilabial sounds)...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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5 answers
120 views

Do some languages use lexical stress to differentiate words with unrelated meanings?

In English, lexical stress is occasionally used to differentiate words with the same consonant and vowel phonemes and that have related meanings. (Please forgive the incomplete definitions.) re ˈpeat ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
416 views

Phonemes that rarely have voiceless/voiced distinctions cross-linguistically

There are some voiceless/voiced pairs of phonemes that seem to be far rarer than other pairs. For example, /p/ and /b/ are separate phonemes in a majority* of the world's languages (and especially ...
Peder's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why do I hear the p, t, k in Portuguese as aspirated plosives?

First, some of my linguistic background: I'm a native Cantonese Chinese speaker. I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese but with heavy Cantonese accent. I have a working-level proficiency in English, meaning ...
user141240's user avatar
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0 answers
76 views

Which English phoneme varies the most among its dialects?

The phonology of English shows extensive variance among its multitude of dialects. Which phoneme(s) shows the most variance throughout the language? I think the most immediately apparent choice would ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Should orthographies represent phonemes or phones?

I am currently working with Salvadoran Nawat, an endangered language that has never had a standardized orthography due to being primarily oral. As part of the revitalization process, we need to ...
Sigfredo Olmedo's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
282 views

How do other cultures categorize phonemes?

I don't know where it came from, but the "west" at least as I have learned, came up with the idea of "vowels" and "consonants" at some point, and we just go with that ...
Lance's user avatar
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There are roughly 46 speech sounds in the English language, however only 26 letters. Why?

There are roughly 44-46 speech sounds in the English language. However, we just have 26 letters which denote some of those 44-46 sounds. Why is that? Why we don't represent each of those 44-46 sounds ...
Harshit Rajput's user avatar
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0 answers
34 views

Is there any free API that can translate from French to IPA? [duplicate]

I have invented a language that actually is just French but each phoneme is replaced by another one. So to build an application that can translate from French to that language, I need the phonetics of ...
nanto's user avatar
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2 answers
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What are near-minimal pairs

What are near-minimal pairs? How are they different from minimal pairs? Can Allophones occur in near-minimal pairs?
Fit's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why is there numerics in the phonemes? [closed]

I am new to Natural Language Processing and the first thing that I encountered is phoneme representation of a word. I am wondering how come "hello" gets converted to "HH AH0 L OW1"?...
Mohan Singh's user avatar
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3 answers
140 views

Do the acute-accent-e and grave-accent-e sounds exist in English?

The two sounds 'é' and 'è' are abundant in French. The sound 'ê' is also common enough. Suppose you're teaching the e accent aigu (é) or e accent grave to an English speaker (from any continent). You ...
Sam7919's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
394 views

In which Slavic languages are [h] and [x] contrastive? [closed]

Starting from this question, I have a "prequel" question. In which Slavic languages are [h] and [x] contrastive? As far as I know, there is no [h] in Russian, but only [x], but there is ...
virolino's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
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Can you provide a cheat-sheet for turning Proto-Indo-European dictionaries from the older style into laryngeal notation?

Much of the resources I have for Proto-Indo-European itself (not etymological dictionaries for other languages) either use Laryngeal notation but are limited in scope (like Wiktionary) or are written ...
Oron61's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
790 views

is schwa a phoneme in English?

or is it simply an unstressed allophone of unstressed lax vowels? I'm curious because I've heard some people claim that [ə] is not a phoneme and it is just a reduced allophone of all the unstressed ...
LinguisticsFanatic's user avatar
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175 views

Are there any examples in any language of words beginning with the sound [θð]?

While I have some difficulty pronouncing a hypothetical word ending with [θð], it seems perfectly possible to have such a sound at the beginning or in the middle of a word. Is the sound [θð] ever used ...
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2 answers
2k views

How is F0 determined?

I was reading Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology (Authors and page numbers will be added when I get my iPad back). And I am learning the concept of 'F0' for the first time. So according to this ...
Jenny's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
302 views

Could Cimmerian be a transitional language between Iranian and Slavic?

After a period of reflection, I am currently no longer considering a direct kinship between Iranian and Slavic languages, but rather turning to the existence of another transitional language between ...
Fatyanovo2022's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
362 views

Why are English diphthongs not analysed as a vowel and a glide?

The English language has the diphthongs /eɪ aɪ ɔɪ aʊ əʊ/, analysed differently in some accents. They end in sounds that are very close to [j] and [w], yet are analysed as unsyllabic [ɪ] and [ʊ]. Since ...
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6 votes
2 answers
5k views

/ / vs [ ] - when to use which? [duplicate]

I'm a university student studying sound structure. It's a first-year course. No matter how many times it's explained to me in lectures, tutorials, help labs, or office hours -- I don't understand all ...
University Student's user avatar
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1 answer
456 views

Morphophonemic rules in phonology

I am wondering how the two phonological terms "morphonemic rules" and "morphophonemic rules" can be distinguished? A morpheme might have different presentations (i.e. ...
A-friend's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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How does one transcribe a plosive that involves lip closure AND the velum sealing off the nasal cavity before releasing the air mostly thru the nose?

In the conlang I'm creating, I want the clusters /b/ + a nasal. When I say such a cluster, I find myself realizing the /b/ with simultaneous lip closure and the production of a stop consonant that ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What symbol, if any, signifies an audible nasal emission in the IPA?

I'm making a conlang and would like to include the consonant clusters /hm/ /hn/ /hɳ/ and /hŋ/ with /h/ realized as an audible nasal emission. I don't have to worry about how these clusters would be ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
3k views

Are there any natural languages in which /ʂ/ and /ʃ/ are distinct phonemes?

I'm having a difficult time trying to find languages that have a phonemic contrast between /ʂ/ and /ʃ/. I can hear the difference without difficulty because /ʂ/ sounds like a lower frequency range of ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
125 views

What language does the phonetic inventory of ERA's "Ameno" most resemble?

The lyrics of the 1996 song "Ameno" by Era are said to be in pseudo-Latin: Dori me Interimo, adapare Dori me Ameno Ameno etc. Indeed, phonotactically (and, in one word — "imperavi&...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
249 views

How does r-coloring impact phonological analysis?

Edit: I realized I asked this very confusingly. I think what I really should have said was, are there any phonemic implications to r-coloring? Or thinking about it slightly differently, is there a ...
Dan's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
949 views

Are there languages without the /j/ sound as in English "yellow"?

There are many languages without the /w/ sound as in English world, as in French oiseau, as in Spanish fuego, and as in Mandarin wang (the last three respectively mean bird, fire, and king). Some ...
mammifereviolet4694's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
871 views

Finding phonetic similarity of names in different languages

I am trying to come up with a way using Python to find phonetic similarities between how differently written names with different meanings in different languages might sound alike. Names can be ...
Lndit39's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What are the stress-distinguished minimal pairs in English?

I already know of two non-homograph ones: insight and billow. Insight /ˈɪnsʌɪt/ is phonemically identical to incite /ɪn'sʌɪt/ except for where the stress falls (first syllable in insight, second ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
277 views

Is tone actually phonemic in Mandarin?

Mandarin Chinese is often used as an example of a tonal language (one where the meaning of a word depends not only on its articulation but also on its pitch contour). However, going by what I've read, ...
Vikki's user avatar
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0 answers
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Experiment to show that phonemes are not invariant: stimuli!

The fact that phonemes are not invariant is shown in many studies. The first one, so far as I know, is that of Liberman, Delattre and Cooper (1952) in their report on the identification of synthetic, ...
Arnold's user avatar
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Where are the original research papers on when phonemes are acquired developmentally?

I received this as a guide to when the phonemes are acquired developmentally, such as: 1-2 years - The child is able to say the following sounds in words - /p/, /b/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /d/ Where can I ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
395 views

Languages without phonemes?

Based on my understanding and reading of Wikipedia, phonemes help distinguish one word from another and each phoneme is an "abstraction over of a set (or equivalence class) of speech sounds (...
Holden Burnham's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
169 views

Proper phonetic names and IPA symbols for Russian [i] in линия and English [i] in happy

They have [i] on both IPA:Russian wiki and IPA:English wiki On the Russian page the example is линия and on the English page it's happy. And in practice these are similar but clearly different sounds ...
axk's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is there any site where I can find the list of natural languages that dont have a list of phonemes?

Is there any site where I can find the list of natural languages that dont have a list of phonemes? I want to discover the minimum amount of vowels needed to make sure each natural language has at ...
user34049's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
334 views

What is the difference between ðˤ and ðʕ in Arabic?

I am wondering if the emphatic and pharyngealized sounds of Arabic are the same thing as the letter followed by /ʕ/. So ðˤ, sˤ, tˤ, and dˤ would be ðʕ, sʕ, tʕ, and dʕ. If it's not the case, can you ...
Lance's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why's IPA constrainted by phonemic, not phonetic, contrastivity?

To try to understand phonetics vs. phonology, I already read What's the difference between phonetics and phonology?, Oxford Univ. Prof. John Coleman's page, ResearchGate, Univ. of Pennsylvania ...
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