From Ancient Greek φώνημα (phṓnēma, “sound”), from φωνέω (phōnéō, “to sound”), from φωνή (phōnḗ, “sound”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfoʊnim/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfəʊniːm/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -oʊnim, -əʊniːm
phoneme (plural phonemes)
- An indivisible unit of sound in a given language. A phoneme is an abstraction of the physical speech sounds (phones) and may encompass several different phones.
- Hypernym: syntagma
- 1990, Jarmo Lainio, “Sweden Finnish — development or deterioration?”, in Durk Gorter, editor, Fourth International Conference on Minority Languages: Western and Eastern European papers, Multilingual Matters, →ISBN, page 31:
- It is crucial for the phoneme structure of Finnish — traditionally /d/ has not been included in the Finnish phonotax, but it fulfils the criteria of a phoneme (Karlsson, 1983: 66-7).
indivisible unit of sound