chroneme

In spoken language, a chroneme is a basic, theoretical unit of sound that can distinguish words by duration only of a vowel or consonant. The noun chroneme is derived from Greek χρονος (chronos, time), and the suffixed -eme, which is analogous to the -eme in phoneme. However, this term does not have wide currency, and may even be unknown to phonologists who work on languages claimed to have chronemes.

Most languages have differences in length of vowels or consonants, but in the case of most languages it would not be treated phonemically or phonologically as distinctive or contrastive. Even in those languages which do have phonologically contrastive length, a chroneme is only posited in particular languages. Use of a chroneme views /aː/ as being composed of two segments: /a/ and /ː/, whereas in a particular analysis, /aː/ may be a considered a single segment with length one of its features. This may be compared to the analysis of a diphthong like [ai] as a single segment /ai/ or as the sequence of a consonant and vowel: /aj/.

For the purposes of analysis of a chronemic contrast, two words with different meaning that are spoken exactly the same except for length of one segment are considered a minimal pair.

The International phonetic alphabet (IPA) denotes length by doubling the letter or by diacritics above or after the letters:

symbolpositionmeaning
none-short
ːafterlong
ˑafterhalf-long
˘aboveextra-short


American English does not have minimal pairs indicating the existence of chronemes or may theoretically be said to have only one chroneme. Some other dialects such as Australian English have contrastive vowel length, but it is not analysed as the consequence of a chroneme.

Many Indo-European languages, including Classical Latin have distinctive length in consonants, for example in Italian:

wordIPAmeaning
vile/'vile/coward
ville/'ville/villas


For example Classical Latin, German, and Thai have distinctive length in vowels. For example in Thai:

wordIPARTGSqualitymeaning
เข้า/kʰâw/khâoshortenter
ข้าว/kʰâːw/khâolongrice


Almost all Uralic languages, such as Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian have a distinctive moraic chroneme as a phoneme (also arguably called archiphoneme or epenthetic vowel/consonant). The etymology of the vocalic chroneme has been traced to a voiced velar fricative in the hypothetical Proto-Uralic language, such that [Vɣ] becomes [Vː]. For example, taka- "back-", takka "fireplace" and taakka "burden" are unrelated words. It is also grammatically important; the third person marker is a chroneme (menee "s/he goes"), and often in the spoken Finnish of the Helsinki area there are grammatical minimal pairs, e.g. nominative Stadi "Helsinki" vs. partitive Stadii "at Helsinki".

In Finnish, Estonian and Sami languages, there are also two allophonic lengths of the chroneme, half-long and over-long. For example, Finnish imperative anna! "give!" has a short vowel, oma "own" has a half-long vowel, and Annaa "at Anna" has an overlong vowel (without any distinctive tonal variation to distinguish these three). Estonian and Sami also have a three-way distinction in consonants, e.g. lina "bed sheet", linna (half-long 'n') "of the city", linna (over-long 'n') "to the city". Estonian, in which the phonemic opposition is the strongest, uses tonal contour as a secondary cue to distinguish the two; "over-long" is falling as in other Finnic languages, but "half-long" is rising.

Finnish also denotes stress principally by adding more length (approx. 100 ms) to the vowel of the syllable nucleus. This means that Finnish has five different physical lengths. (The half-long vowel is a phonemically short vowel appearing in the second syllable, if the first - and thus stressed - syllable is a single short vowel.) The unstressed short vowels are about 40 ms in physical duration, the unstressed long vowels about 70 ms. The stress adds about 100 ms, giving short stressed as 130-150 ms and long stressed as 170-180 ms. The half-long vowel, which is always short unstressed, is distinctively longer than the standard 40 ms.

Japanese is another language in which vowel length is distinctive. For example, biru is a foreign loan word (clipped from a longer form) that means 'building' whereas bīru is a foreign loan word for 'beer'. Using a notion intuitive to a speaker of Japanese, it could be said that more than anything, what differentiates bīru from biru is an extra mora (or minimal vowel syllable) in the speech rhythm that signifies a lengthening of the vowel [i]. However, upon observation one might also note a rise in pitch and intensity of the longer vowel. It could be said, also, that vowel lengthening—chronemic contrasts—nearly doubles Japanese's rather small inventory of vowel phonemes (though the occurrence of diphthongs also augments vowel counts). Due to native literacy practices, Japanese long vowels are often thought of as sequences of two vowels of the same quality (rather than one vowel of a greater quantity or length) since that is how they are sometimes written.

In the case of consonants of Japanese, if treated phonemically, a medial consonant might appear to double, thus creating a contrast, for example, between the word hiki (meaning 'pull' or 'influence') and hikki (meaning 'writing'). In terms of articulation and phonetics, the difference between the two words would be that, in the latter hikki, the doubled [kk] closes the first syllable [hi-] and is realized in the glottis as glottal plosive stop (with some anticipatory articulation evident in the velum of the mouth, where a /k/ is usually made) while starting the next syllable [-ki] as a [k] articulated and realized as the regular velar sound. In effect, this consonant doubling then adds one mora to the overall speech rhythm and timing. Hence, among other contrasts, the word hik-ki is felt to be one mora or beat longer than hi-ki by a speaker of Japanese.

References

phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes meaning. Phonemes are not the physical segments themselves, but abstractions of them. An example of a phoneme would be the /t/ found in words like tip,
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In phonetics, length or quantity is a feature of sounds that are distinctively longer than other sounds. There are long vowels as well as long consonants (the latter are often called geminates).

Many languages do not have distinctive length.
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In linguistics (and phonetics), segment is used primarily “to refer to any discrete unit that can be identified, either physically or auditorily, in the stream of speech” (after A Dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics, David Crystal, 2003, pp.
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In linguistics, a distinctive feature is the most basic unit of phonological structure that may be analyzed in phonological theory.

Distinctive features are grouped into categories according to the natural classes of segments they describe: major class features, laryngeal
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In phonetics, a diphthong (also gliding vowel) (Greek δίφθογγος, "diphthongos", literally "with two sounds," or "with two tones") is a monosyllabic vowel combination involving a quick but smooth movement from one vowel to
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In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning.
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International Phonetic Alphabet

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

The International
Phonetic Alphabet
History
Nonstandard symbols
Extended IPA
Naming conventions
IPA for English The
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eece, beed, heat. (M.-D. /i/.) Includes an onset to the high front vowel, except before laterals (Palethorpe & Cox, 2003).
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Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, the northern Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and much of Central Asia.
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Latin}}} 
Official status
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
Language codes
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
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Italian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  European Union
 European Union
 Switzerland
 San Marino
Vatican City
Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The template is . Please use instead.

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Latin}}} 
Official status
Official language of: Vatican City
Used for official purposes, but not spoken in everyday speech
Regulated by: Opus Fundatum Latinitas
Roman Catholic Church
Language codes
ISO 639-1: la
ISO 639-2: lat
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German language (Deutsch, ] ) is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages.
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Thai}}} 
Official status
Official language of: Thailand
Regulated by: The Royal Institute
Language codes
ISO 639-1: th
ISO 639-2: tha
ISO 639-3: tha

Thai (
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vowel is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by an open configuration of the vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, which are characterized by a constriction or closure at one or more points along the
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Uralic languages (pronounced: /jʊˈɹælɪk/) constitute a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people.
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Finnish ( suomi  , or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (91.
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Hungarian (magyar nyelv listen  ) is a Finno-Ugric language (more specifically an Ugric language) unrelated to most other languages in Europe.
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Estonian}}} 
Official status
Official language of:  Estonia
 European Union
Regulated by: Institute of the Estonian Language / Eesti Keele Instituut (semi-official)
Language codes
ISO 639-1: et
ISO 639-2: est
ISO 639-3:
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Mora (plural moras or morae) is a unit of sound used in phonology that determines syllable weight (which in turn determines stress or timing) in some languages. Like many technical linguistics terms, the exact definition of mora is debated.
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phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes meaning. Phonemes are not the physical segments themselves, but abstractions of them. An example of a phoneme would be the /t/ found in words like tip,
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In phonetics, epenthesis (/əˈpɛnθəsɪs/, Greek epi "on" + en "in" + thesis "putting") is the addition of one or more sounds to a word, especially to the interior of a word.
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The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in various spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɣ
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Spoken Finnish (puhekieli) is the colloquial variant of the Finnish language often used in spoken language. This article deals with features of the spoken Finnish language, specifically the variant seen as dialectless.
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Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently (and erroneously) believed to be a single language.
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In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. A phone is a sound that has a definite shape as a sound wave, while a phoneme is a basic group of sounds that can distinguish words (i.e.
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This article contains Japanese text.
Without proper ,
you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of kanji or kana.

Japanese
日本語
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