English Phonology - 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.

Read more about this topic:  English Phonology

Other articles related to "phonemes":

Medieval Runes - History and Use - Evolution
... runemasters preferred to use, or modify, old runes for new phonemes rather than invent new runes. 11th century, three dotted runes were added in order to represent the phonemes in a more exact manner ... Rather than create new runes for the /e/, /ɡ/ and /y/ phonemes, dots were added to the i, k and u runes ...
Traditional English Pronunciation Of Latin - Consonants - Phonemes
... The underlying consonantal phonemes of A-L are close in most respects to those of Latin, the primary difference being that /w/ and /j/ are replaced in A-L by /v/ v and /dʒ/ j ... Phonemes of A-L Labials Interdentals Alveolars Palatals Velars Glottals Stops voiceless /p/ /t/ /k/ voiced /b/ /d/ /ɡ/ Affricate (voiced) /dʒ/ Fricatives voiceless /f/ /θ/ /s/ /x/ /h ...
Scottish Vowel Length Rule - Phonemes
... The underlying phonemes of the Scottish vowel system are as follows Aitken 1l 1s 8a 19 ... /aɪ/ /əi/ /i/ /iː/1 /ei/2 /e/ /o/ /u/3 /ø/4 /eː/5 /oe ...
Traditional English Pronunciation Of Latin - Consonants - Consonantal Allophones - Polyphony
... The letters c, d, g, h, n, s, t and x have different sounds (phonemes) depending upon their environment these are listed summarily below ... k/ /d/ /ɡ/ /h/ /n/ /s/ /t/ /ks/ Primary phonemes /s/ /dʒ/ ∅ /ŋ/ /z/ /s/ /z/, /ɡz/ Secondary phonemes /ʃ/ /dʒ/ /ʃ/ /ʒ/ /tʃ/ /ʃ/ /kʃ/ The full set of consonantal phonemes for A-L is almost ...
Scottish Gaelic Phonology - Vowels
... The following is a chart of the monophthong vowel phonemes appearing in Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic vowel phonemes Front Near-front Central Back Close i ɯ u Near-close ɪ Close-m ...

Famous quotes containing the word phonemes:

    The mastery of one’s phonemes may be compared to the violinist’s mastery of fingering. The violin string lends itself to a continuous gradation of tones, but the musician learns the discrete intervals at which to stop the string in order to play the conventional notes. We sound our phonemes like poor violinists, approximating each time to a fancied norm, and we receive our neighbor’s renderings indulgently, mentally rectifying the more glaring inaccuracies.
    W.V. Quine (b. 1908)