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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71 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 ...
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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 ...
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171 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 ...
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94 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 ...
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162 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, ...
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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, ...
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Mandarin Phonemes: Which ones are not shared by English AND the most likely to be used? [closed]

There are 214 (by one count) Mandarin phonemes. How can I learn Which of those are not shared by English? Which of the remaining number are in the most common use (assuming they follow the Pareto ...
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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 ...
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155 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 (...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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207 views

How strong was the r/l distinction in Proto-Afro-Asiatic?

The East Asian languages do not distinguish r and l. The PIE had r/l alternation in suffixes: -tlom/-trom, -dhlom/-dhrom, -ter/-tel, -ros/-los. What can be said in this context about Afro-Asiatic ...
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121 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 ...
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102 views

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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164 views

Is there a way to classify all languages that have a guttural ch (as in Achmed) sound?

Some languages, like Hebrew, Arabic, and Gaelic, have a guttural ch sound, like the clearing of your throat, as in "Achmed". What is the term for this sound and is there a term to classify ...
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Is there an effort to prove phonemes?

For 44 claimed phonemes, we need 44*43/2 = 946 minimal pairs. If we can't find even one of them, then it is possible to claim that English has 43 phonemes and not 44 due to complementary distribution (...
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109 views

When did the vocalic allophones of the consonant phonemes in PIE become independent vowel phonemes?

The sonants in PIE have consonantal and vocalic allophones, so the consonantal sonant and the vocalic sonant are regarded as one consonant phoneme. But many daughter languages of PIE (at least at some ...
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205 views

Is there a British English language minimal pair for the schwa and the 'long schwa?'

I know that we can find phonemes by looking for minimal pairs. However, I cannot find a minimal pair for the schwa, on the one hand, and the vowel that usually appears on British English vowel charts ...
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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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581 views

Phonemic Transcription Ambiguity?

I recently learned the the flap [ɾ] letter is part of both the /t/ and /d/ phonemes. A common example is writer /ˈraɪtər/ and rider /ˈraɪdər/. If they're both pronounced [raɪɾər], then shouldn't the ...
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203 views

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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How do allophones become distinct phonemes?

The title pretty much sums up my question, but to elaborate, how do allophones of phonemes become their own distinct phonemes? For example: in Old English, /θ/ became /ð/ between vowels, but in ...
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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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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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230 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
85 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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118 views

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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Where did Spanish get its /x/? Arabic influence?

Most Romance languages don't have /x/ (like the j in hijo), nor did Latin. Where did Spanish /x/ come from? Internal development, Arabic influence, or something else? Since Moroccan Arabic also has /x/...
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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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Glottal stops that aren't tenuis

Is any language known to contain a glottal stop [ʔ] that isn't tenuis? For example, an aspirated glottal stop [ʔʰ], a palatalized glottal stop [ʔʲ], or a labialized glottal stop [ʔʷ]. CORRECTION: It ...
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115 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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573 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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66 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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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
105 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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141 views

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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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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28 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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Languages with the fewest phonemes

Which natural languages have the fewest phonemes?
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American English : are [ə] and [ʌ] different phonemes? (schwa vs. chevron)

What case can be made for considering whether [ə] and [ʌ] are different phonemes or not in American English? Please note the focus is on standard American English. EDIT: i.e.: on General American. ...
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196 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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756 views

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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103 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
167 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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667 views

What are the basic principles of optimality theory?

I'm trying to conduct research on the definiteness system (how is definiteness marked) in my dialect. I want to do this in the light of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky) and am struggling to ...
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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 ...