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A Phoneme is a Linguistic Symbol (Speech Sound) within a Spoken Language's Speech System that a Linguistic Agent can use to compose Spoken Expressions.


    • (linguistics) one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language
  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • In human language, a phoneme is the smallest posited structural unit that distinguishes meaning. Phonemes are not the physical segments themselves, but, in theoretical terms, cognitive abstractions or categorizations of them.
    • Of all the sounds that a human vocal tract can create, different languages vary considerably in the number of these sounds that are considered to be distinctive phonemes in the speech of that language. Ubyx and Arrernte have only two phonemic vowels, while at the other extreme, the Bantu language Ngwe has fourteen vowel qualities, twelve of which may occur long or short, for twenty-six oral vowels, plus six nasalized vowels, long and short, for thirty-eight vowels; while !Xóõ achieves thirty-one pure vowels — not counting vowel length, which it also has — by varying the phonation. Rotokas has only six consonants, while !Xóõ has somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy-seven, and Ubyx eighty-one. French has no phonemic tone or stress, while several of the Kam-Sui languages have nine tones
    • An indivisible unit of sound in a given language. A phoneme is an abstraction of the physical speech sounds (phones) and may encompass several ...