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Flashcards for the vocabulary in Chapter 2: Phonetic Transcription of English.


a printed alphabet letter used in the representation of an allograph

phonetic alphabet

an alphabet that contains a separate letter for each individual sound in a language


differing letter sequences that represent the same phoneme


pair of letters that represent one sound; the letters may be the same or different


the smallest unit of language capable of carrying meaning

free morpheme

a morpheme that can stand alone yet still carry meaning

bound morpheme

a morpheme that must be linked to another morpheme in order to convey meaning


a speech sound capable of differentiating morphemes

minimal pair/contrast

a pair of words that vary by only one phoneme


variant production of a phoneme

complementary distribution

allophone production that is tied to a particular phonetic environment

free variation

refers to allophone production that is not tied to a particular phonetic environment


a basic unit of speech production and perception generally consisting of a segment of greatest acoustic energy (a peak, usually a vowel) and segments of lesser energy (troughs, usually consonants); a unit of speech consisting of an onset and/or a rhyme


all consonants preceding a vowel in any syllable; not all syllables contain an onset


a syllable segment consisting of an obligatory nucleus (usually a vowel) and optional coda

consonant cluster

two or three contiguous consonants in a syllable


the part of a syllable with the greatest acoustic energy; usually, but not always, a vowel


the consonants that follow a vowel in any syllable; not all syllables have a coda

syllabic consonant

a consonant that serves as the nucleus of a syllable

open syllable

a syllable with a vowel phoneme in the final position

closed syllable

a syllable with a consonant phoneme in the final position

word stress/lexical stress

the production of a syllable with increased force or muscular energy, resulting in a syllable that is perceived as being louder, longer in duration, and higher in pitch; also known as word accent

word class

also known as "part of speech"

systematic phonemic transcription

phonemic transcription of an individual, used when the rules of the language are known; variant phoneme (i.e., allophone) production is not recorded; also referred to as broad transcription or phonemic transcription

systematic narrow transcription

allophonic transcription of an individual, used when the rules of the language are known; also referred to as narrow transcription or allophonic transcription


a specialized phonetic symbol used in both systematic and impressionistic transcription to represent both allophone production as well as suprasegmental features of speech

impressionistic transcription

allophonic transcription of an unknown speaker or an unknown language

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