Exactly What Do Phonemes Relate to Language


Language: Crash Course Psychology #16

Video taken from the channel: CrashCourse


The Language Sounds That Could Exist, But Don’t

Video taken from the channel: Tom Scott


What is Language?

Video taken from the channel: Julian Northbrook


What do all languages have in common? Cameron Morin

Video taken from the channel: TED-Ed


What are phonemes and allophones?

Video taken from the channel: Aze Linguistics


Weird Phonemes pronouncing the world’s rarest sounds

Video taken from the channel: NativLang


44 Phonemes

Video taken from the channel: RRFTS

A phoneme is the smallest meaningful unit of sound in a language. A meaningful sound is one that will change one word into another word. For example, the words cat and fat are two different words, but there is only one sound that is different between the two words

A phoneme is a sound or a group of different sounds perceived to have the same function by speakers of the language or dialect in question. An example is the English phoneme /k/, which occurs in words such as cat, kit, scat, skit. Although most native speakers do not notice this, in most English dialects, the “c/k” sounds in these words are not identical: in kit (help·info) [kʰɪt], the sound is aspirated, but in skill (help·info) [skɪl], it is unaspirated. The words, therefore, contain different spe.

Phonemes are based on spoken language and may be recorded with special symbols, such as those of the International Phonetic Alphabet. In transcription, linguists conventionally place symbols for phonemes between slash marks: /p/. In English, there are 44 phonemes: 24 consonants + 20 vowels. From speech to text Some phonemes are phonetically very close, although a student who have difficulties with the spoken language, is more likely to make mistakes in transcription or spelling. In linguistics, a phoneme is the smallest sound unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinct meaning, such as the s of sing and the r of ring.

Adjective: phonemic. Phonemes are language-specific. Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness focusing just on the smallest units of sound in human speech. These units are called phonemes and phonemes form the sound system of a given language.

The same phonemic principles apply whether the language is English or French, Greek or Chinese. A phoneme is the basic unit of phonology. It is the smallest unit of sound that may cause a change of meaning within a language, but that doesn’t have meaning by itself.

For example, in the words “bake” and “brake,” only one phoneme has been altered, but a. Definition of phoneme: any of the abstract units of the phonetic system of a language that correspond to a set of similar speech sounds (such as the velar \k\ of cool and the palatal \k\ of keel) which are perceived to be a single distinctive sound in the language Other Words from phoneme Example Sentences Learn More about phoneme. A phoneme is a single “unit” of sound that has meaning in any language.

There are 44 phonemes in English (in the standard British model), each one representing a different sound a person can make. Since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, sometimes letter combinations need to be used to make a phoneme. Effective phonemic awareness instruction (a component of phonological awareness focused on speech sound units) relies on educators having knowledge of language and its structure (Moats & Lyon, 1996).

Educators who understand these concepts tend to focus more on word-sound relationships during literacy instruction, which results in better student performance in reading.

List of related literature:

Phonemes are categories of sounds considered equivalent to each other in a language and that distinguish one word from another.

“Handbook of Psychophysiology” by John T. Cacioppo, Louis G. Tassinary, Gary G. Berntson
from Handbook of Psychophysiology
by John T. Cacioppo, Louis G. Tassinary, Gary G. Berntson
Cambridge University Press, 2016

Phonemes are abstract subword structures that distinguish meaning within a language.

“Audio and Speech Processing with MATLAB” by Paul Hill
from Audio and Speech Processing with MATLAB
by Paul Hill
CRC Press, 2018

To perceive phonemes, speakers use categories that were constructed in their minds when they learned their particular language.

“Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read: an Evidence-based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction: Reports of the Subgroups” by National Reading Panel (U.S.), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.), National Reading Excellence Initiative, National Institute for Literacy (U.S.), United States. Public Health Service, United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
from Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read: an Evidence-based Assessment of the Scientific Research Literature on Reading and Its Implications for Reading Instruction: Reports of the Subgroups
by National Reading Panel (U.S.), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.), et. al.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 2000

Phonemes in and of themselves do not symbolize ideas or objects, but when put together they are the basic linguistic units that make words.

“Physical Rehabilitation” by Susan B O'Sullivan, Thomas J Schmitz, George Fulk
from Physical Rehabilitation
by Susan B O’Sullivan, Thomas J Schmitz, George Fulk
F.A. Davis Company, 2019

Combinations of phonemes give rise to additional levels of representation.

“Reading Development and Difficulties: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice” by David A. Kilpatrick, R. Malatesha Joshi, Richard K. Wagner
from Reading Development and Difficulties: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice
by David A. Kilpatrick, R. Malatesha Joshi, Richard K. Wagner
Springer International Publishing, 2019

Phonemes are thus arbitrarily defined nonmeaningful sound units which are combined and recombined in order that we can then construct higher level units (for example words) which themselves carry meaning.

“Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology” by Dr Alan Barnard, Jonathan Spencer, Alan Barnard, Jonathan Spencer
from Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology
by Dr Alan Barnard, Jonathan Spencer, Alan Barnard, Jonathan Spencer
Routledge, 1996

phonemes are groups or units of sounds that provide the foundation upon which languages can be written down in a systematic and unambiguous fashion (Ladefoged, 2006, p. 33).

“Speech and Voice Science, Third Edition” by Alison Behrman
from Speech and Voice Science, Third Edition
by Alison Behrman
Plural Publishing, Incorporated, 2017

To discover the phonemes of a language, linguists can use a methodology called phonemic analysis, which involves looking for patterns in the distribution of sounds occurring in a language, in particular to expose contrastiveness and complementary distribution.

“An Introduction to Language” by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams, Mengistu Amberber, Felicity Cox, Rosalind Thornton
from An Introduction to Language
by Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, et. al.
Cengage Learning Australia, 2017

Languages also differ in other sound cues, such as their phoneme inventories (see Chapter 2 for an explanation of what phonemes are), the intonation patterns associated with words (this is part of prosody) and the rules for combining phonemes (this is what is referred to as phonotactics).

“Bilingual First Language Acquisition” by Dr. Annick De Houwer
from Bilingual First Language Acquisition
by Dr. Annick De Houwer
Channel View Publications, 2009

Phonemes are thought to be the underlying sound representations that we have stored in our brains and that we combine to express the words in our language.

“Phonetic Science for Clinical Practice” by Kathy J. Jakielski, Christina E. Gildersleeve-Neumann
from Phonetic Science for Clinical Practice
by Kathy J. Jakielski, Christina E. Gildersleeve-Neumann
Plural Publishing, Incorporated, 2017

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • Here are some sounds which I think are rare that are not mentioned in the video:
    1. [ɹ]
    2. [ɾ]
    3. [r̝]
    4. [ʔ]
    5. retroflex sounds
    6. uvular sounds
    7. implosives
    8. ejectives

  • It’s piranha, not pirahã as you said. Piranha, aranha, banha, amanhã, arranha, tamanho… that NH is commun in language Portuguese. Btw, i’m brazilian, so I know what I’m talking about!

  • 20 consonants ( https://youtu.be/wBuA589kfMg?t=71)
    /b/, /d/, /f/, /g/, /h/, /j/, /k/, /l/, /m/, /n/, /ng/, /p/, /r/, /s/, /zh/, /t/, /v/, /w/, /y/, /z/

    combination of two sounds: /kw/, /ks/

    4 digraphs ( https://youtu.be/wBuA589kfMg?t=156 )
    /ch/, /sh/, /th/(voiced), /th/(unvoiced)

    15 vowels ( https://youtu.be/wBuA589kfMg?t=186)
    /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/, /ai/, /aw/, /ee/, /ie/, /oa/, /ue/, /oo/, /oo/, /ou/, /oi/

    5 ‘R’ controlled vowels ( https://youtu.be/wBuA589kfMg?t=267)
    /ar/, /er/, /air/, /ear/, /or/

    1 schwa ( https://youtu.be/wBuA589kfMg?t=297 )

  • First Thanks a lot for such to the point presentation. As per my opinion language is dynamic because we humans have dynamic desires.

  • You have forgotten the glottal stop of the Danes and the crazy st of the Poles (as in the name of the city Stettin… sounding like Chtsestchin…) Otherwise, brilliant rendering of these difficult sounds!

  • You look beautiful and very well spoken. I even spent time to repeat after you. I will be introducing this practice to my 8mo old baby as I am raising a baby genius. Thank you for the video.

  • Thank you so much for this video. It has been so frustrating to have to reteach 2nd graders how to say these sounds correctly. As a former Kdg and 1st grade Teacher I know that others are trying to say the sounds in a way that the kids can hear them. But yes, having to undo that /uh/ sound at the end of so many phonemes takes up too much time. Please teachers watch this video.

  • If you want to hear a language that has some strange unique sounds, look up the Tlingit Language. This is spoken in Southeast Alaska. It’s a part of the Na-dene family of languages of northern Alaska and Navajo. I’d love to see Tlingit mentioned a video some day.

  • Sorry, rather dumb to demonstrate subtles phonemes sounds  with a music interference in the background!  Who had this   idea??  Music interference aside,  great diction, nonetheless american.

  • yes it sound easy but all of this I am introducing to my infants children average age 6 weeks to 18 months old. thank you for this modeling words.

  • Now I’ve got two to add the Czech ř and the Welsh ll (looks like a double L, and is written like it too, but is technically one letter). Anybody know how common these sounds are?

    For ř, it’s a bit like the s from pleasure mixed with a rolled r. Compare the words proměny to zvíře in GT or Forvo or something to better hear the difference (somewhere you can listen to these words being pronounced).

    For the Welsh ll, it’s a bit tougher to explain. Put the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, purse your lips a bit, and breathe out. To hear what it sounds like, look up the word llaeth on GT or Forvo.

  • I am extremely appreciative and grateful because she stress the importance of exact pronunciation that will create excellent habits of correct pronunciation. I am going to definitely practice her way of eliminating the unnecessary sounds. Thank you for your assistance in helping others who need the proper sounds.

  • Crash Course Linguistics, yes please! It would give you a chance to update some of the information on here because some of it misses the mark. I’m a linguist and would love a series of videos to give to my students as another resource!

  • phonemes? we say phonics here is Britain. also, it’s pronounced a-loo-mi-ni-uhm. not a-loo-mi-num. i mean, come on, it’s literally spelt aluminium. people just say that americans are lazy, and i sit on the fence about this issue.

  • Talking about weird phonemes and not to mention any Caucasian language is very weird. Try to pronounce this:

  • This explains the obvious differences between Brit & American English… half of these are different and quite frankly odd to me LOL!

  • Oi professora.
    Meu nome é Alexandre.
    Eu sou brasileiro.
    Quero parabenizar você por esse vídeo tão legal,eu estou aprendendo inglês eu ainda estou no nível básico, mais adorei esse vídeo teu, pois a sua pronuncia e muito legal, mais uma vez parabéns pelo teu trabalho.
    É também quero te dizer uma coisa você é uma mulher muito bonita.

  • Pięćdziesięciogroszówka is a real existing word that doesn’t make troubles to say for Polish people but its really difficult for other nationalities

  • i wonder what kind of anatomy an alien would need to be able to have a language based entirely in the impossible-for-humans shadow lands of sounds and also what it would sound like

  • I honestly don’t know what idiot though adding clicks to a “language” was a good idea any smart person would realize that is just a lot of unnecessary work.

  • Great video! I recently started vounteer-teaching a refugee student from Rwanda and felt the need to help him with his phonemes; this video is just perfect. Thank you so much!

  • There is a zha sound in some south indian languages.
    It is very hard to pronounce even for natives.
    You are required to wipe your tongue for pronuncing.

  • This video should be called: whatever thesis Chomsky came up with was wrong and we are not much wiser, either. Waste of time this video. Sorry.

  • Hoping someone here can answer my question. From the day we get them all of my cats we taught that when we say “ready to eat?” The wet food is coming out(the good stuff, not the everyday dry food). Every time we say “are you ready to eat?” They go wild and get excited. Have we taught them that those words together mean “your favorite food is coming out” or have we “Pavloved”/conditioned them to expecting their favorite food when hearing “R U redee to eet”, or are these both the same thing? Sorry if I make no sense

  • Hello there mouthpiece200!

    So I wouldn’t say all Americans who pronounce their words ending in -er with an -a are only black. There are far more black people than not who pronounce their words phonetically correct. I’ve lived in all four corners of the States and witnessed how it’s regional rather than racial. The US is a melting pot of dialects, no matter the ethnicity. One simply won’t go to London and see only black people pronouncing brother as bruv-ah.

    Though I certainly see the example you were trying to make, I would’ve left race out of it as to not lean into stereotyping.
    Besides, “my brothas & my sistas” is quite a taboo reference for the black American dialect as a whole. You’ll find many people from Jersey & NY, white, black, or otherwise, who pronounce -er words ending with -a.

    The More You Know �� ��

  • Humans were weak so we were kicked out of the Jungle trees and lived into the open savannah and had to warn each other of predators and rival tribe people which is how and why we developed language. The stronger primates still live up in the trees. as 98% genetically the same cousins, evolutionarily speaking.