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How many phonemes?

 
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Dai_Abajian



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Academy 5

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: How many phonemes? Reply with quote

What I’m interested to know and discuss is how many phonemes there are in the English language. I’m very curious to know the number in your accent/mother tongue as well.
Thanks.

Wikipedia/Phoneme - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoneme
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eslweb



Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 208
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject: IPA, says 44 phonemes Reply with quote

I believe that there are 44 phonemes in the English language. (Scottish has one more used for loch x) However I'm not an authoritative source on the subject... I've got an IPA Webpage with the basics.

The best source for this kind of info is the IPA at:
http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/ipa/ipa.html

James
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Buddhaheart



Joined: 05 Jan 2007
Posts: 28
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:30 pm    Post subject: HOW MANY PHONEMES? Reply with quote

The largest number cited in a text that I've come aross is 49-50 ( 7 to 8 lax vowels. 5 tense vowels; 8 diphthongs; 5 triphthongs & 24 consonants). The range is generally from 36 to 48.

It is interesting to note that the number of consonants (24) is almost universally recognized by most scholars and authors.

We as Canadians believe we have 39 English phonemes that consist of 12 vowels, 3 diphthongs and 24 consonants.
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eslweb



Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 208
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject: Phonemes in English Reply with quote

The 44 phonemes I quoted are for a British speaker with a fairly mild accent. Nice to see you are doing a bit of research into the area...

James
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Dai_Abajian



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Academy 5

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:41 am    Post subject: How many phonemes? Reply with quote

Thanks for your posts, eslweb and Buddhaheart.
I happened to find an interesting article, titled “The debate about phonics teaching”, in BBC website.

Here’s the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4486814.stm

Quote:
Mike Baker:
Many teachers fear it does not suit all children's learning styles and argue it is so mechanistic it can destroy the joy of reading.

Your opinion?


Last edited by Dai_Abajian on Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dai_Abajian



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Academy 5

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: How many phonemes? Reply with quote

This is the list I was looking for at that time.

Vowels and representative words
1. /a/ cat
2. /e/ peg, bread
3. /i/ pig, wanted
4. /o/ log, want
5. /u/ plug, love
6. /ae/ pain, day, gate, station
7. /ee/ sweet, heat, thief, these
8. /ie/ tried, light, my, shine, mind
9. /oe/ road, blow, bone, cold
10. /ue/ moon, blue, grew, tune
11. /oo / look, would, put
12. /ar/ cart, fast (regional)
13. /ur/ burn, first, term
14. /or/ torn, door, warn (regional)
15. /au/ haul, law, call
16. /er/ circus, sister
17. /ow/ down, shout
18. /oi/ coin, boy
19. /air/ stairs, bear, hare
20. /ear/ fear, beer, here

Consonant phonemes and representative words
21. /b/ baby
22. /d/ dog
23. /f/ field, photo
24. /g/ game
25. /h/ hat
26. /j/ judge, giant, barge
27. /k/ cook, quick, mix, Chris
28. /l/ lamb
29. /m/ monkey, comb
30. /n/ nut, knife, gnat
31. /p/ paper
32. /r/ rabbit, wrong
33. /s/ sun, mouse, city, science
34. /t/ tap
35. /v/ van
36. /w/ was
37. /wh/ where (regional)
38. /y/ yes
39. /z/ zebra, please, is
40. /th/ then
41. /th/ thin
42. /ch/ chip, watch
43. /sh/ ship, mission, chef
44. /zh/ treasure
45. /ng/ ring, sink
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