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Etymology 1[edit]


diaphone (plural diaphones)

  1. A kind of organ pipe.
  2. A sound signal which produces sound by means of a slotted piston moved back and forth by compressed air.

Etymology 2[edit]

Dia(lect) + phone


diaphone (plural diaphones)

  1. (phonology) A particular dialectal variant of a phoneme.
  2. (phonology) All the dialectal variants of a phoneme, considered as a whole.
Related terms[edit]


  • 1929: F. W. Taylor, the Orthography of African Languages (in Journal of the Royal African Society)
    I may read “gas” as “gas,” and you as “gahs”; you may say “aspect” and I may say “ahspect.” Such diaphones, as they are called in phonetics, must always be spelled in but one way only;
  • 1930: Practical Orthography of African Languages
    The term Diaphone is used to denote a normal sound together with the variants of it heard from different speakers of the same language.
  • 1932: Daniel Jones, Outline of English Phonetics
    The term diaphone is used to denote a sound used by one group of speakers together with other sounds which replace it in the pronunciation of other speakers.
  • 1950: Daniel Jones, The Phoneme
    Overlapping of diaphones is ... especially liable to happen when a sound lies near the limit of a diaphonic ‘area’.
  • 1953: William J. Entwistle, Aspects of Language
    The diaphones are also found in the speech of a single individual.
  • 1961: Hans Kurath and Raven McDavid, The Pronunciation of English in Atlantic States
    The regional and social dissemination of the diaphones of stressed vowels.