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In
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
and
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
, a phone is any distinct speech sound or gesture, regardless of whether the exact sound is critical to the meanings of words. In contrast, a
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
is a speech sound in a given language that, if swapped with another phoneme, could change one word to another. Phones are absolute and are not specific to any language, but phonemes can be discussed only in reference to specific languages. For example, the English words ''kid'' and ''kit'' end with two distinct phonemes, /d/ and /t/, and swapping one for the other would change one word into a different word. However, the difference between the /p/ sounds in ''pun'' ( ʰ with aspiration) and ''spun'' ( without aspiration) never affects the meaning or identity of a word in English. Therefore, cannot be replaced with ʰ(or vice versa) and thereby convert one word to another. That causes ʰand to be two distinct phones but not distinct phonemes in English. By contrast, swapping the same two sounds in
Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms are Hindi and Urdu * Fiji Hindi, a variety of Eastern Hindi spoken in Fiji, and i ...
can change one word into another: ʰal(फल/پھل) means 'fruit', and
al
al
(पल/پل) means 'moment' . The sounds are thus different phonemes. As can be seen in those examples, phonemes, rather than phones, are the features of speech that are typically reflected (more or less imperfectly) in a writing system.


Overview

In the context of spoken languages, a phone is an unanalyzed sound of a language . A phone is a speech
segment Segment or segmentation may refer to: Biology *Segmentation (biology), the division of body plans into a series of repetitive segments **Segmentation in the human nervous system *Internodal segment, the portion of a nerve fiber between two Nodes of ...
that possesses distinct physical or perceptual properties and serves as the basic unit of phonetic speech analysis. Phones are generally either
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
s or
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
s. A
phonetic transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or ) by means of . The most common type of phonetic transcription uses a phonetic alphabet, such as the . Versus orthogra ...
(based on phones) is enclosed within
square bracket In Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandrian Greek mathematics , Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry: the ''Euclid's Elements, Elements''. Euclid's method c ...
s (
nbsp; In word processing In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of li ...
, rather than the slashes (/ /) of a phonemic transcription, (based on phonemes). Phones (and often also phonemes) are commonly represented by using symbols of the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic transcription, phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standa ...
(IPA). For example, the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
word ''spin'' consists of four phones, and and so the word has the phonetic representation pɪn The word ''pin'' has three phones. Since its initial sound is aspirated, it can be represented as ʰ and the word's phonetic representation would then be ʰɪn (The precise features shown in a phonetic representation depend on whether a narrow or
broad transcription Phonetic transcription (also known as phonetic script or phonetic notation) is the visual representation of speech sounds (or phones) by means of symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be ...
is used and which features the writer wishes to draw attention in a particular context.) When phones are considered to be realizations of the same phoneme, they are called
allophone In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particu ...
s of that phoneme (more information on the methods of making such assignments can be found under
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
). In English, for example, and ʰare considered allophones of a single phoneme, which is written /p/. The phonemic transcriptions of those two words is thus /spɪn/ and /pɪn/, and aspiration is then no longer shown since it is not distinctive.


See also

*
Emic unit In and related fields, an emic unit is a type of . cited in Kinds of emic units are generally denoted by terms with the suffix ''-eme'', such as ', ', and '. The term "emic unit" is defined by Nöth (1995) to mean "an invariant form obtained fro ...
*
Index of phonetics articles A * Acoustic phonetics Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians— ...


References

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Phone (Phonetics) Phonetics Phonology