Phonology Vocabulary

Card Set Information

Phonology Vocabulary
2012-09-12 10:20:03

Cards for the DELTA Exam 2012
Show Answers:

  1. Phoneme
    The smallest unit of sound which can distinguish two words. For example, Sum and Thumb in their written form are different in two ways, but in their spoken form in only one way, so 'th' and 's' are phonemes. In standard English there are 44 phonemes, but these can be pronounced in different ways (called allophones).
  2. Morpheme
    The smallest semantically meaningful unit in a language. For example the word unbreakable countains 3 morphemes un- (a bound morpheme), break, and able (both free morphemes). Morphemes are not identical to words, since they may or may not stand alone, whereas a word, by definition is a free standing unit.
  3. Free Morpheme
    A free morpheme (the smallest semantically meaningful unit in a language) is one that can appear independently as a word, and combine with other lexemes. This contrasts with bound morphemes which can't stand alone, but are typically affixes. 
  4. Lexeme
    A lexeme rounghly corresponds to the set of forms taken by a single word. For example, run, runs, ran, and running are all part of the lexeme for run. This is related to a lemma which is a key representative of a lexeme and is used in dictionaries as the headword