Encyclopedia > Allophone

  Article Content

Allophone

In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar speech sounds belonging to a phoneme. Each allophone is the contextually specific implementation of a phoneme.

For example p as in pin and p as in spin are allophones in the English language. English treats these as the same, but they are different. The latter is unaspirated[?] (it sounds a little more like b to an English speaker). Chinese, treats them differently and the latter is written as b in pinyin: thus they are not allophones in Chinese.

In a particular context an habitual approximation of the phonemic ideal usually becomes so familiar as to be conventional.

A phoneme itself, however, is really too abstract and context-variant to have a simple sound wave frequency decomposition. A phoneme as one of the abstract signals of the phonetic system of a language corresponds to a set of similar speech sounds which are perceived by speakers of the language to be a single distinctive sound in that language.

See Phonology, Phonetics, and voice production.


In Quebec, an allophone is a person whose mother tongue[?] is a language other than French (Francophone) or English (Anglophone).



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Museums in England

... Museum[?] Staffordshire Brindley Water Museum[?], Leek, Staffordshire Izaak Walton Cottage Museum[?] Suffolk Amber Museum[?], Southwold Beccl ...

 
 
 
This page was created in 61.5 ms