of phonemes are the smallest meaning meanings, but meaning-meaning units of a language and the scientific investigation article of the phonology.
Natural human languages have between 13 and about 80 phonemes. Thereby the phoneme-poorest language of the world is Hawaiian with 13. Germanabout 40 phonemes have. Since with a meaningful Orthographie a letter expresses a phoneme, easily the wrong impression, phonemes develops is as something similar as letters.
Examples of German phonemes:
- /p/, /t/, /k/ (be correctless Plosive)
- /m/, /n/,/ŋ/(Nasale)
- /a: /,/a/, /e: /, /e/ (be enough and short vowels)
phonemes carry no meaning for itself taken, replace one however in a word a phoneme by another, change the meaning: „Cat “vs. „Paw “, „lamb “vs. „lamely “, „patch “vs. „Bed “, „rest “(shorta) vs. „rest “(long A). This is meaning “meant with „. With the help of this so-called minimum's pair analysis all phonemes of a language can be seized and identified systematically: Replacing a sound by another leads to a change (or to the loss) thatMeaning of the word, both sounds can be assigned to different phonemes. With phonemes it does not concern however the sounds themselves, but abstracted units over of the single sounds (Phonen) of a language. As such they are not physical soundsin the actual sense, but must become realized by appropriate Allophone („audibly made “).
For the quotation of phonemes one avails oneself generally of the phonetic transcription symbols of the international phonetic alphabet. Concerns however only a simplification: There phonemes not alsothe sounds are identical, but positions within systematics one could use in principle any symbol for a phoneme. For distinction phonemes are set in by diagonal strokes (/A/), during Phone (likewise written with the IPA symbols) in square brackets will be noted ([A]).
Not to be confounded may phonemes with Graphemen, which correspond in for instance the letters.
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the phoneme concept emerges for the first time in the work of January Niecislaw Baudouin de Courtenay (1845-1929), became known however particularly by the advancements of Nikolai Trubetzkoi (1890-1938). The psychological interpretation (see below) comes up backthe work of Noam Chomsky and Morris resounds.
The whole of all phonemes is called also „phoneme inventory “, whose size of language varies to language partly substantially. At the phoneme inventory also most alphabet writings orient themselves, ideally exist one1-zu-1-Zuordnung von Phonemen and Buchstaben.
Phonemes can be classified on the basis their characteristics. There is a characteristic, which differentiates between two phonemes from each other, then it is called distinktives characteristic. For example the Stimmhaftigkeit of Plosiven is distinktiv in German: [p]and [b] /p/ and /b/ correspond to the phonemes, since they can be consulted for the meaning distinction (see. „Passport “vs. „Bass “). Against it the Aspiriertheit of Plosiven is not distinktiv. [p] and [pʰ] both is variants of thePhoneme/p/([pas] and [pʰas] are equivalent). Alternatively cannot be also said, Stimmhaftigkeit has „phon-mixed value “, Aspiriertheit against it.
phonemes as mental units
beyond the classical characterisation of phonemes as abstract units of a systematizing investigation of language (Strukturalismus) become going phonemes frequently alsoas mental units understood: In the course of the language acquisition learns a child, who phonetic characteristics of a sound for the meaning of a word are crucial and which not. The categories developing in the course of this process become original as mental correspondences (representations) thatpurely linguistically phonemes defined outstandingly. After this view phonemes have their own existence in the mental speech processing system of a speaker: The system actually falls back during the speech processing to these units. (A contrary hypothesis would be for instance the statement that by interactionfrom learned words and individual sound perceptions only the impression develops, phoneme categories is in the system at the work.).
The influence of these phoneme categories on the perception can be observed particularly well while handling a foreign language. Phonetic distinctions, those in the own languageno role bring in, by the untrainierten ear also in other languages are not noticed or falsely and for the same phoneme are not assigned. Example: The Chinese/r/ retroflex , the Chinese/l is formed/in approximately like ours/l/. If a German expresses its sound/r/, this of Chinese as/l/is noticed and not as the Chinese retroflexe/r/.
different realizations of a phoneme
indifferent whether one phonemes asthe result of a purely linguistschen systematization or as mental Entitäten understands, in each case concerns it with them abstractions of a concrete lautlichen expression. This means in response in addition, that itself concrete realizations of phonemes (Allophone)substantially from each other to differentiate to be able and the same phoneme be assigned nevertheless. Thus for example/sch/after one/u/differently than after one/i/, nevertheless concerns it sounds an individual phoneme.Reasons for more or less freely varying realizations are above all dialektale differences and Koartikulationseffekte as general in the example as well as completely characteristics in the articulation of a speaker.
For a set of phonemes however phonological rules, those exist as a function ofclearly specify to the lautlichen environment of a phoneme, with which Allophon it is to be realized.
Example: In German the Graphem becomes <CH>, which stands generally for the phoneme/x/, sometimes within the range of the hard palate, thus palatal articulated ([ɪç] - „I “), sometimes in addition, farther back within the range of of the soft palate ([ax] - „oh “). It applies the rule that [x] only after /a/, /o/, /u/ and /au/ it stands, in all differentStands for cases [ç]. Thus simply the lautliche environment, contentwise differences between the words is not crucial plays a role. With such so-called combinatorial variants both Allophone are mostly in such a way distributed that, where one must stand,the other one not to stand may and in reverse (complementary distribution).
If such rules lead to the fact that an actually distinktives characteristic loses its meaning-differentiating function, one speaks of neutralization. The so-called Auslautverhärtung in German has the consequence that all be correctful phonemes (bspw. /b/,/D/and/g/) at the word ending to be be correctless expressed; the difference between be correctful and be correctless phonemes, relevant in other positions, is neutralized („federation “and „multicolored “is differently written, but expressed identically ([bʊnt])). Also assimilation processes lead frequently to neutralization.
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