I don't know if vowels are phonemes but that's what I'm particularly interested in. Like the "u" vowel in "but", the "e" (schwa) vowel in "paper". Or are they pretty much unique to English? Consonant phonemes have minimal variation across Germanic and Romance languages, I think. In my opinion foreign phonemes are the most challenging aspect of learning a new language.
Of course, vowels are phonemes. Who told you they weren't. The schwa phoneme is definitely not unique to English. I don't think there are any phonemes that only exist in English.
But, Steve, you didn't answer my question. Can you answer my question?
I asked this several months ago. :-) I don't think many phonemes are shared between languages. They mabye similar but not identical.
By definition they can't be shared. The phonemes of a language are defined within the language. What you're probably wanting to ask is "Which language shares the highest number of phones with English?" My guess: Frisian but I don't know any Frisian.
Jim, Don't Spanish and English share the /b/ phoneme?
What do you think about the idea of extending our alphabet into a phonemic alphabet? An alphabet with a letter for each phoneme. Having one would make save a whole bunch of paper. What do you think about, for example, adding these letters?
ð for [TH] as in ''then''
þ for [th] as in ''think''
æ for [@] as in ''lad''
ç for [tS] as in ''chair''
ş for [S] as in ''ship''
ʒ for [Z] as in ''genre''
ʊ for [u] as in ''book''
ŋ for [N] as in ''thing''
ə for [..] as in ''away''
ɚ for [..r] as in ''winter''
ɝ for [e:r] as in ''word''
ɜ for [e:] as in ''colonal''
Most languages use similar sets of sounds as phonemes, but the details always vary. The sound of the first vowel in "father," for example, is common to pretty much every language on the planet, and in some form it is usually phonemic.
The exact "typical" pronunciations of a given phoneme tend to be completely unique to each language, but they vary so little from similar sounds in other languages that they are often interchangeable. For example, /A/ might have different, unique sets of allophones in two given languages, but the allophones might be so similar that those for one language can serve as allophones of /A/ in the other language, without impeding comprehension (but while creating a slight "foreign" accent).
Extending or revising the alphabet is a waste of time, for reasons I have already explained elsewhere at length.
''Extending or revising the alphabet is a waste of time, for reasons I have already explained elsewhere at length.''
Mxsmanic, Writing with a 26 letter alphabet in English is a waste of paper because we have to use longer diagraphs and trigraphs like ''sh'', ''th'', ''ch'', ''ng'', ''oa'', ''ee'', ''oo'', ''ai'', ''igh'', the magic ''e'' etc.
Imagine the amount of paper it would take reprinting everything ever published in our 26 letter alphabet. Spelling reform is happening under our very noses but it's so slow we don't even notice it. Leave it that way? You have no choice: it is that way. Let's not turn every tread into a spelling reform thread.
''Imagine the amount of paper it would take reprinting everything ever published in our 26 letter alphabet. Spelling reform is happening under our very noses but it's so slow we don't even notice it. Leave it that way? You have no choice: it is that way. Let's not turn every tread into a spelling reform thread.''
Writing a language with more than 50 sounds with only 26 letters is a waste of paper.
Imagine the amount of paper it would save if we used, for example, the letter ''eng'' instead of the diagraph ''ng''.
If we extending the alphabet ''thought'' could turn from a 7-letter word into a nice 3-letter word ''þøt''.
Some dialects don't have a /N/ so the speakers of these would not welcome your eng.
All Standard English accents have [N]. Sure, [N] often becomes [n] in -ing
endings in informal speech.
What dialects don't have [N]? Do they pronounce ''singer'' the same way as ''sinner''?
Don't you think eng would be a good letter to add to the alphabet if we extended the alphabet?
My eng? I didn't invent the letter. The letter is used on the IPA chart.
Isn't ''þøt'' a nicer spelling than ''thought''?
I know you didn't invent it: I never said you did. It's some dialects in Britian, I can't remember which. They'd say [siNg..] but the [N] is a allophone of /n/.
''I know you didn't invent it: I never said you did.''
Then why did you call it my eng?
''They'd say [siNg..] but the [N] is a allophone of /n/.''
But they are a very small minority. A spelling reform (if one were to happen) should favor the majority not the minority.
A very small minority of people distinguish pairs like meat/meet, see/sea. That should be ignored in a phonemic spelling reform because only a minority make it.
In Southern England, Australian, New Zealand and South Africa ''bath'' is pronounced [ba:th] but in North America, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern England ''bath'' is pronounced [b@th]. So, if the alphabet were extended ''bath'' should be spelled with the [@] letter not the [a:] letter because most people pronounce it with the [@] sound.
Steve, In some dialects words like ''new'' and ''newt'' start with a single consonant sound (a palatal nasal sound) instead of [n(j)]. Would you welcome someone adding a letter to the alphabet for that sound?