Print

Print


Fredrik Ekman wrote:
> but have there been any similar
> investigations regarding phonemes of the spoken language?

Yep, I've seen such a table for English phonemes, unfortunately, I don't
have it with me.  Of course, there are two possibilities for this - how
many words have a given sound, and how frequent the sound is in speech.
For instance, /D/ is not very common in terms of how many words have it,
but it's fairly common in speech due to the fact that it's in a number
of common words, like "the", "that", "they", etc.

> Or if diphtongs (when a language has such) are usually much less frequent
> than single vowels, etc.

Depends.  /ej/ is a very frequent sound in English.  Of course,
historically it was a monophthong.

> (Hmm... perhaps a diphtong would count as a morpheme rather than a
> phoneme?

Nope, a morpheme is a unit of *meaning*, like /k&t/, or the plural /s/
(/z/, /Iz/).  A morpheme can consist of a single phoneme, like /s/
(plural) or /aj/ (first person singular pronoun), but a diphthong is a
phoneme, it's a unit of sound.

--
"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men
believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of
the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
ICQ: 18656696
AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor