diaphoneme

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

dia- +‎ phoneme

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

diaphoneme (plural diaphonemes)

  1. (linguistics) An abstract phonological unit that represents collectively the dialectal variants of a phoneme.
    The transcription /əʊ‖oʊ/ represents the diaphoneme descended from the ancestral Old English phoneme /oː/, which is realised as [əʊ] in Received Pronunciation and as [oʊ] in General American.
    • 1980, S. Noble & J.A. Fishman (trr.), M. Weinrich (auth.), P. Glasser (ed.), History of the Yiddish Language II (2008), ch. vii, pp. 467f.:
      The series with the long a as a point of departure…today has the diaphoneme /o‖u/, and to be exhaustive the diaphoneme should be rendered /o‖u‖au‖oi/, for in western Yiddish there are also the articulations /šlaufn/ and /šloifn/ (sleep). From the point of departure of long e (Early Vowel E₂) Yiddish arrived at the diaphoneme /ei‖ai/, for example in veynik (little) (cf. MHG wênic). In groys (big; Early Vowel O₂) (cf. MHG groȥ), Yiddish has the diaphoneme /ei‖oi/; with the variant of Samogitia–Latvia (7.35), the symbolization will become still more complicated: /ei‖øu‖oi‖ou/.

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