PHONEMES. Linguistics one of the set of speech sounds in any given language that serve to distinguish one word from another. A phoneme may consist of several phonetically distinct articulations, which are regarded as identical by native speakers, since one articulation may be substituted for another without any change of meaning. Thus /p/ and /b/ are separate phonemes in English because they distinguish such words as pet and bet, whereas the light and dark /l/ sounds in little are not separate phonemes since they may be transposed without changing meaning http://www. hefreedictionary. com/phoneme ————————————————- Phonemes ————————————————- A phoneme of a language or dialect is an abstraction of a speech sound or of a group of different sounds which are all perceived to have the same function by speakers of that language or dialect. For example, the English word “through” consists of three phonemes: the initial “th” sound, the “r” sound, and an “oo” vowel sound.
Notice that the phonemes in this and many other English words do not always correspond directly to the letters used to spell them (English orthography is not as strongly phonemic as that of certain other languages).
————————————————- The phonemes of English and their number vary from dialect to dialect, and also depend on the interpretation of the individual researcher. The number of consonant phonemes is generally put at 24 (or slightly more).
The number of vowels is subject to greater variation; in the system presented on this page there are 20 vowel phonemes in Received Pronunciation, 14–16 in General American and 20–21 in Australian English. The pronunciation keys used in dictionaries generally contain a slightly greater number of symbols than this, to take account of certain sounds used in foreign words and certain noticeable distinctions that may not be strictly speaking phonemic. ————————————————- Consonants. ————————————————- The following table shows the 24 consonant phonemes found in most dialects of English.
When consonants appear in pairs, fortis consonants (i. e. , aspirated or voiceless) appear on the left and lenis consonants (i. e. , lightly voiced or voiced) appear on the right: Consonant phonemes of English| | Bilabial| Labio- dental| Dental| Alveolar| Post- alveolar| Palatal| Velar| Glottal| Nasal1| m| | | n| | | ? | | Stop| p b| | | t d| | | k ? | | Affricate| | | | | t? d? | | | | Fricative| | f v| ? ?| s z| ? ?| | (x)2| h| Approximant| | | | r1, 5| j| w3| | Lateral| | | | l1| | | | | 1. Most varieties of English have syllabic consonants, for example at the end of bottle and button.
In such cases, no vowel is pronounced between the last two consonants. It is common for syllabic consonants to be transcribed with a subscript mark, so that phonetic transcription of bottle would be [? b? tl? ] and for button [? b? tn? ]. In theory, such consonants could be analysed as individual phonemes. However, this would add several extra consonant phonemes to the inventory for English, and phonologists prefer to identify syllabic nasals and liquids phonemically as /? C/.  Thus button is phonemically /? b? t? n/ and ‘bottle’ is phonemically /? b? t? l/. 2.
The voiceless velar fricative /x/ is mainly restricted to Scottish English; words with /x/ in Scottish accents tend to be pronounced with /k/ in other dialects. The velar fricative may appear in recently borrowed words such as chutzpah. Hiberno-English usually maintains /x/, also. 3. The sound at the beginning of words spelt ? wh? (e. g. which, why) is in some accents (e. g. much of the American South, Scotland, and Ireland) a “voiceless w” sound, which is a voiceless labiovelar fricative or voiceless labiovelar approximant, whereas other accents have the voiced approximant [w]. The honemic status of the voiceless sound, for which the phonetic symbol is [? ], is difficult to define. It would be possible to consider this sound to be a separate phoneme, but phonologists prefer to treat it as a combination of /h/ and /w/. Thus which (as pronounced by speakers who have the “voiceless w”) is transcribed phonemically as /hw? t? /. This should not, however, be interpreted to mean that such speakers actually pronounce [h] followed by [w]: the phonemic transcription /hw/ is simply a convenient way of representing a single sound [? ]without analyzing such dialects as having an extra phoneme. 8] 4. A similar case to the above is that of the sound at the beginning of huge; in accents in which the initial consonant is voiceless, a voiceless palatal fricative [c] occurs, but the usual phonemic analysis is to treat this as /h/ plus /j/ so that huge is transcribed /hju? d? /. This transcription often gives rise to the incorrect belief that speakers pronounce[h] followed by [j] in such contexts, but the symbols in fact represent a single sound [c].  The yod-dropping found in Norfolk dialect means that the traditional Norfolk pronunciation of huge is [h? ud? ] and not [cu? d? ]. 5.
The phonotactic constraints regarding the phoneme /r/ differ among accents. In non-rhotic accents, such as Received Pronunciation and Australian English, /r/ only appears before a vowel, whereas in rhotic accents /r/ occurs in all positions. The following table shows typical examples of the occurrence of the above consonant phonemes in words. /p/| pit| /b/| bit| /t/| tin| /d/| din| /k/| cut| /? /| gut| /t? /| cheap| /d? /| jeep| /f/| fat| /v/| vat| /? /| thin| /? /| then| /s/| sap| /z/| zap| /? /| she| /? /| measure| /x/| loch| | | /w/| we| /m/| map| /l/| left| /n/| nap| /r/| run| /j/| yes| /h/| ham| /? | bang| The distinctions between the nasals are neutralized in some environments. For example, before a final /p/, /t/ or /k/ there is only one nasal sound that can appear in each case: [m],[n] or [? ] respectively (as in the words limp, lint, link – note that the n of link is pronounced [? ]). This effect can even occur across syllable or word boundaries, particularly in stressed syllables: synchrony is pronounced as [? s?? k?? ni] whereas synchronic may be pronounced either as [s??? k?? n? k] or as [s? n? k?? n? k]. For other possible syllable-final combinations, see Coda in the Phonotactics section below.
Cite this Phonemes
Phonemes. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/phonemes/