Phoneme

phonemicphonemesphonemicallyarchiphonemeneutralizationneutralizedcheremearchiphonemicsoundscherology
A phoneme is one of the units of sound (or gesture in the case of sign languages, see chereme) that distinguish one word from another in a particular language.wikipedia
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Minimal pair

minimal pairssound pairssplit
(Two words like this that differ in meaning through a contrast of a single phoneme form what is called a minimal pair). In many other languages these would be interpreted as exactly the same set of phonemes (i.e. and would be considered the same).
In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, spoken or signed, that differ in only one phonological element, such as a phoneme, toneme or chroneme, and have distinct meanings.

Grapheme

graphemescharacterscharacter
Thus represents a sequence of three phonemes,, (the word push in standard English), while represents the phonetic sequence of sounds (aspirated p),, (the usual pronunciation of push). This is not to be confused with the similar convention of the use of angle brackets to enclose the units of orthography, namely graphemes; for example, ⟨f⟩ represents the written letter (grapheme) f.
An individual grapheme may or may not carry meaning by itself, and may or may not correspond to a single phoneme of the spoken language.

International Phonetic Alphabet

IPAPronunciationdiacritic
The symbols used for particular phonemes are often taken from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the same set of symbols that are most commonly used for phones.
The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables.

Jan Baudouin de Courtenay

Baudouin de CourtenayBaudoinBaudouin de Courtenay, Jan Niecisław
The term phoneme as an abstraction was developed by the Polish linguist Jan Niecisław Baudouin de Courtenay and his student Mikołaj Kruszewski during 1875–1895.
Jan Niecisław Ignacy Baudouin de Courtenay (13 March 1845 – 3 November 1929) was a Polish linguist and Slavist, best known for his theory of the phoneme and phonetic alternations.

Free variation

freely variesfree variantsalternate forms
In other cases the choice of allophone may be dependent on the individual speaker or other unpredictable factors – such allophones are said to be in free variation.
When phonemes are in free variation, speakers are sometimes strongly aware of the fact (especially if such variation is noticeable only across a dialectal or sociolectal divide), and will note, for example, that tomato is pronounced differently in British and American English ( and respectively), or that either has two pronunciations that are distributed fairly randomly.

Phonology

phonologicalphonologicallyphonologist
Later, it was used and redefined in generative linguistics, most famously by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle, and remains central to many accounts of the development of modern phonology.
It has traditionally focused largely on the study of the systems of phonemes in particular languages (and therefore used to be also called phonemics, or phonematics), but it may also cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word (including syllable, onset and rime, articulatory gestures, articulatory features, mora, etc.) or at all levels of language where sound is considered to be structured for conveying linguistic meaning.

Tone (linguistics)

tonetonal languagetones
While phonemes are normally conceived of as abstractions of discrete segmental speech sounds (vowels and consonants), there are other features of pronunciation – principally tone and stress – which in some languages can change the meaning of words in the way that phoneme contrasts do, and are consequently called phonemic features of those languages.
Languages that do have this feature are called tonal languages; the distinctive tone patterns of such a language are sometimes called tonemes, by analogy with phoneme.

Chroneme

length
In the description of some languages, the term chroneme has been used to indicate contrastive length or duration of phonemes.
The noun chroneme is derived from Greek χρόνος (chrónos, time), and the suffixed -eme, which is analogous to the -eme in phoneme or morpheme.

Emic unit

allo--emeEmic and etic units
These are sometimes called emic units.
Kinds of emic units are generally denoted by terms with the suffix -eme, such as phoneme, grapheme, and morpheme.

Orthography

orthographicorthographiesorthographically
Thus represents a sequence of three phonemes,, (the word push in standard English), while represents the phonetic sequence of sounds (aspirated p),, (the usual pronunciation of push). This is not to be confused with the similar convention of the use of angle brackets to enclose the units of orthography, namely graphemes; for example, ⟨f⟩ represents the written letter (grapheme) f.
Orthography is largely concerned with matters of spelling, and in particular the relationship between phonemes and graphemes in a language.

Edward Sapir

SapirSapir, EdwardSapir tradition
The concept of the phoneme was then elaborated in the works of Nikolai Trubetzkoy and others of the Prague School (during the years 1926–1935), and in those of structuralists like Ferdinand de Saussure, Edward Sapir, and Leonard Bloomfield.
He played an important role in developing the modern concept of the phoneme, greatly advancing the understanding of phonology.

Linguistics

linguistlinguisticlinguists
In linguistics, phonemes (usually established by the use of minimal pairs, such as kill vs kiss or pat vs bat) are written between slashes, e.g. . To show pronunciation more precisely linguists use square brackets, for example (indicating an aspirated p).
Phonology, the study of sounds as abstract elements in the speaker's mind that distinguish meaning (phonemes)

Phonotactics

phonotacticphonotacticalphonotactically
Languages do not generally allow words or syllables to be built of any arbitrary sequences of phonemes; there are phonotactic restrictions on which sequences of phonemes are possible and in which environments certain phonemes can occur.
Phonotactics (from Ancient Greek phōnḗ "voice, sound" and tacticós "having to do with arranging") is a branch of phonology that deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes.

Allophone

allophonicallophonesallophony
Different speech sounds that are realizations of the same phoneme are known as allophones. Allophonic variation may be conditioned, in which case a certain phoneme is realized as a certain allophone in particular phonological environments, or it may be free in which case it may vary randomly.
In phonology, an allophone (from the Greek ἄλλος, állos, "other" and φωνή, phōnē, "voice, sound") is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds, or phones, or signs used to pronounce a single phoneme in a particular language.

Flapping

intervocalic alveolar flappingflappedFlap
An example of the problems arising from the biuniqueness requirement is provided by the phenomenon of flapping in North American English.
Flapping or tapping, also known as alveolar flapping, intervocalic flapping, or t-voicing, is a phonological process found in many dialects of English, especially North American English, Australian English and New Zealand English, by which the consonant phoneme or placed between vowels is pronounced as a voiced flap under certain conditions.

Bracket

parenthesesbracketsparenthesis
Thus represents a sequence of three phonemes,, (the word push in standard English), while represents the phonetic sequence of sounds (aspirated p),, (the usual pronunciation of push). This is not to be confused with the similar convention of the use of angle brackets to enclose the units of orthography, namely graphemes; for example, ⟨f⟩ represents the written letter (grapheme) f. However, a phoneme is generally regarded as an abstraction of a set (or equivalence class) of speech sounds (phones) which are perceived as equivalent to each other in a given language.
In linguistics, phonetic transcriptions are generally enclosed within brackets, often using the International Phonetic Alphabet, whereas phonemic transcriptions typically use paired slashes.

Ubykh language

UbykhUbykh dialectlinguistically
The number of phonemically distinct vowels can be as low as two, as in Ubykh and Arrernte.
The Ubykh language is ergative and polysynthetic, with a high degree of agglutination, with polypersonal verbal agreement and a very large number of distinct consonants but only two phonemically distinct vowels.

Segment (linguistics)

segmentsegmentssegmental
While phonemes are normally conceived of as abstractions of discrete segmental speech sounds (vowels and consonants), there are other features of pronunciation – principally tone and stress – which in some languages can change the meaning of words in the way that phoneme contrasts do, and are consequently called phonemic features of those languages.
In spoken languages, segments will typically be grouped into consonants and vowels, but the term can be applied to any minimal unit of a linear sequence meaningful to the given field of analysis, such as a mora or a syllable in prosodic phonology, a morpheme in morphology, or a chereme in sign language analysis.

Pirahã language

Pirahãtheir languageIndigenous language of Pirahans
The total phonemic inventory in languages varies from as few as 11 in Rotokas and Pirahã to as many as 141 in !Xũ.
There is a claim that Pirahã has as few as ten phonemes, one fewer than Rotokas, but this requires analyzing as an underlying.

Aspirated consonant

aspiratedaspirationunaspirated
Thus represents a sequence of three phonemes,, (the word push in standard English), while represents the phonetic sequence of sounds (aspirated p),, (the usual pronunciation of push). This is not to be confused with the similar convention of the use of angle brackets to enclose the units of orthography, namely graphemes; for example, ⟨f⟩ represents the written letter (grapheme) f. In linguistics, phonemes (usually established by the use of minimal pairs, such as kill vs kiss or pat vs bat) are written between slashes, e.g. . To show pronunciation more precisely linguists use square brackets, for example (indicating an aspirated p).
In many languages, such as Armenian, Korean, Lakota, Thai, Indo-Aryan languages, Dravidian languages, Icelandic, Ancient Greek, and the varieties of Chinese, tenuis and aspirated consonants are phonemic.

Phone (phonetics)

phonesphonespeech sound
However, a phoneme is generally regarded as an abstraction of a set (or equivalence class) of speech sounds (phones) which are perceived as equivalent to each other in a given language.
In contrast, a phoneme is a speech sound in a given language that, if swapped with another phoneme, would change the meaning of the word.

Alphabet

alphabeticalphabetsalphabetical
Phonemes are considered to be the basis for alphabetic writing systems.
An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) that represent the phonemes (basic significant sounds) of any spoken language it is used to write.

Mikołaj Kruszewski

The term phoneme as an abstraction was developed by the Polish linguist Jan Niecisław Baudouin de Courtenay and his student Mikołaj Kruszewski during 1875–1895.
Mikołaj Habdank Kruszewski, (Russianized, Nikolay Vyacheslavovich Krushevsky, Никола́й Вячесла́вович Круше́вский) (December 18, 1851, Lutsk – November 12, 1887, Kazan) was a Polish linguist, most significant as the co-inventor of the concept of phonemes, and relative of Anya Lucia Kruszewski.

Digraph (orthography)

digraphdigraphsdouble vowel
A phoneme might be represented by a combination of two or more letters (digraph, trigraph, etc.), like <sh> in English or <sch> in German (both representing phonemes ).
A digraph or digram (from the δίς dís, "double" and γράφω gráphō, "to write") is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme (distinct sound),

Complementary distribution

complimentaryconditional allophonesconditioned variation
For example, English has no minimal pair for the sounds (as in hat) and (as in bang), and the fact that they can be shown to be in complementary distribution could be used to argue for their being allophones of the same phoneme.
For instance, in English, and are allophones of the phoneme because they occur in complementary distribution.