Phonemic contrast

Phonemic contrast refers to a minimal phonetic difference, that is, small differences in speech sounds, that makes a difference in how the sound is perceived by listeners, and can therefore lead to different mental lexical entries for words. For example, whether a sound is voiced or unvoiced (consider /b/ and /p/ in English) matters for how a sound is perceived in many languages, such that changing this phonetic feature can yield a different word (consider bat and pat in English); see Phoneme. Another example in English of a phonemic contrast would be the difference between leak and league; the minimal difference of voicing between [k] and [g] does lead to the two utterances being perceived as different words. On the other hand, an example that is not a phonemic contrast in English is the difference between [sit] and [siːt].[1] In this case the minimal difference of vowel length is not a contrast in English and so those two forms would be perceived as different pronunciations of the same word seat.

  1. ^ Swadesh, Morris (January 1, 1936). "Phonemic Contrasts". American Speech. 11 (4): 298–301. doi:10.2307/451189. JSTOR 451189.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia · View on Wikipedia

Developed by Nelliwinne