Allophone and phoneme

  • e174043

    Senior Member
    Turkish,Azerbaijani
    Allaphone; a person whose mother tongue is neither English nor French and also variation on saying phonemes
    Phoneme; the fundamental speech sounds of a language
     
    Last edited:

    duoyu

    Senior Member
    English- US, Spanish- Puerto Rico
    Phonemes are the smallest units of sound (mainly, consonants and vowels) that contrast meaningfully with each other. In English, for example, /p/ and /b/ are phonemes (they help differentiate between words that have different meanings), as are /æ/ and /u/:

    Ex.
    pin /pɪn/
    bin /bɪn/

    tan /tæn/
    tune /tun/
    (Notice that phonemes have nothing to do with spelling, but rather with pronunciation)

    Allophones are the different pronunciations a phoneme can have. To give an example, in many dialects of Japanese the phoneme /ɾ/ can be pronounced either [ɾ] (a flap, similar to the Spanish single r) or [l] without changing the meaning of the word. To a Japanese, both these sounds represent the same phoneme, hence the reason why they tend to have difficulties differentiating between r and l in English, Spanish etc...

    Ex.
    sora [soɾa] or [sola] ("sky")
    kore [koɾe] or [kole] ("this")

    Hope this helps; I think maybe I got a bit too technical:eek:
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    [....]

    I don't understand e174043's comment:(.
    One of the OED's definitions of allophone is similar.
    Esp. in Quebec: a non-native Canadian whose first language is neither French nor English.
    As is one of dictionary.com's. This definition also makes sense etymologically. However, it is not the definition that is relevant to a comparison with phoneme.
     
    Last edited:

    PulauPandan

    Senior Member
    Indonesian
    Phonemes are the smallest units of sound (mainly, consonants and vowels) that contrast meaningfully with each other. In English, for example, /p/ and /b/ are phonemes (they help differentiate between words that have different meanings), as are /æ/ and /u/:

    Ex.
    pin /pɪn/
    bin /bɪn/

    tan /tæn/
    tune /tun/
    (Notice that phonemes have nothing to do with spelling, but rather with pronunciation)

    Allophones are the different pronunciations a phoneme can have. To give an example, in many dialects of Japanese the phoneme /ɾ/ can be pronounced either [ɾ] (a flap, similar to the Spanish single r) or [l] without changing the meaning of the word. To a Japanese, both these sounds represent the same phoneme, hence the reason why they tend to have difficulties differentiating between r and l in English, Spanish etc...

    Ex.
    sora [soɾa] or [sola] ("sky")
    kore [koɾe] or [kole] ("this")

    Hope this helps; I think maybe I got a bit too technical:eek:

    I think it's minimal pairs. As in: read~lead, rice~lice, room~loom. Allophone is members of the same phoneme family, i.e. the various physically distinct sounds which count as executions of a given phoneme. See the two varieties of 'k' in 'car key'. You will notice that in 'car', the back of the tongue touches the part of soft palate near the uvula, at the very back of the roof your mouth, but in 'key', it is the more front part of the soft palate near the hard palate that the tongue makes contact with. The two varieties of 'k' are physically different. But they are not functionally different. They can't be used to distinguish word meaning. Rather, they are allophones of the same /k/ phoneme and which one is used on a given occasion depends on what the neighbouring sounds happen to be. The two 'k' sounds are in complementary distribution (barred from occuring in identical environments)
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I don't understand e174043's comment:(.

    Allophone meaning "someone whose native language is neither French nor English" comes from the fact that in Quebec, Francophone = person whose native language is French, and Anglophone = person whose native language is English. These are common words that you hear every day - they're necessary to describe a person's background.

    Allophone must've been created thereafter, with állos being the Greek prefix ἄλλος, "other," and fōnē being the noun φωνή, "sound, voice." So allophone in Quebec means "other language (not French or English)."

    In linguistics, it means "other phoneme." For example, in English /p/ is its own phoneme, distinct from, say, /b/ and /g/ because we have minimal pairs like "pot," "bot," and "got" - three words that differ in only one sound (phoneme).

    However, /p/ actually surfaces differently depending on where it appears. In some environments, it's always aspirated (there's a puff of air afterwards), such as in "pin" [pʰɪn], whereas in other environments it's never aspirated, such as in "spin" [spɪn] (put your finger in front of your lips to test it).

    These are allophones because they are different sounds for the same phoneme, /p/. That is, [p] is one sound, and [pʰ] is the "other sound" (allophone).

    The reason they are not separate phonemes is that there are no minimal pairs, i.e. two words with different meanings that differ only in having [p] or [pʰ]. For example, you don't have one word [pʰɪn] meaning "pin" and another word [pɪn] meaning something else.
     
    Top