Author Topic: A good visual analogy to understand the phonemes, phones & phonetic sequences  (Read 1061 times)

Offline zaba

  • Serious Linguist
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
What's a good visual analogy to understand the differences between these words? djr33 once compared phonemes to abstract shapes (which may not exist in the real world, f.e. a triangle), whereas phones were street signs (f.e. a yield sign) that showed an INSTANCE of the abstract shape.

Is this an accurate example? Is there a different one that may be more accurate or intuitive?

Offline lx

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 164
There have been more explanations of the difference between phonemes and phones on this board recently than I've seen in the last couple of years. I think we need to change tactic and figure out what isn't clear to you about this distinction. Forget about the weird analogies. I think it's a good idea for you to try to explain the difference to us and then if/when there is a mention of something not quite right, that specific part can be corrected and it's probably a much easier way to make the distinction quite clear.

Offline Daniel

  • Administrator
  • Experienced Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
  • Country: us
    • English
I agree. The distinction is not that complicated, at least at an abstract level. There are plenty of complications in practice, but the prototypical/hypothetical examples should be clear.

Why/how are you trying to apply this? Maybe context would help.
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.