Features of Language

  1. Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in languages.
  2. implified chart / decision tree to determine whether two sounds which occur in the words of a language are allophones of the same phoneme, separate phonemes, or in free variation. For explanations of terms and procedures, see articles Allophone, Complementary distribution, Minimal pair, Free variation, and Phoneme.

The classic example of sounds which are in complementary distribution in a language, but which are not usually considered to be allophones of the same phoneme due to phonetic dissimilarity, is the sounds [h] and [?] in English.

    The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonemic point of view. Note the intersection of the two circles—the distinction between short a, i and u is made by both speakers, but Arabic lacks the mid articulation of short vowels, while Hebrew lacks the distinction of vowel length.

    implified chart / decision tree to determine whether two sounds which occur in the words of a language are allophones of the same phoneme, separate phonemes, or in free variation. For explanations of terms and procedures, see articles Allophone, Complementary distribution, Minimal pair, Free variation, and Phoneme.

The classic example of sounds which are in complementary distribution in a language, but which are not usually considered to be allophones of the same phoneme due to phonetic dissimilarity, is the sounds [h] and [?] in English.

    The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonetic point of view. Note that the two circles are totally separate—none of the vowel-sounds made by speakers of one language is made by speakers of the other.


  3. A phoneme includes all the speech sounds or gestures that share the same signifier for the phonology of a particular language.
  4. Categorical perception is the experience of percept invariances in sensory phenomena. Multiple views of a face, for example, are mapped onto a common identity and distinct speech tokens are identified as belonging to the same phonetic distinct and separate percept.
  5. A morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit in a language. In other words, it is the smallest meaningful unit of a language.
  6. Morphology is the identification, analysis and description of the structure of the morphemes of a given language and other linguistic units, such as root words, affixes, parts of speech, intonations and stresses, or implied context.
  7. Semantics is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, like words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for; their denotation.
  8. Syntax is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language.
  9. Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics and semiotics that studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.
  10. Prosody is concerned with those elements of speech that are not individual vowels and consonants but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech. These contribute to such linguistic functions as intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm.
  11. A dialect is a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers.
  12. An onomatopoeia is a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.
  13. Phonesthemes are similar sounding words that have related meanings.












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