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What is a phonetically similar segment?

 

Definition
 

Phonetically similar segments are two or more sounds which share phonetic features and are frequently found as variants of a single phonological unit in a language.

Discussion
 

Most phonetically similar segments are adjacent to each other in a phone chart, and differ only slightly in one or two articulatory features.

Examples
 

Here is a table that gives examples of phonetically similar segments and the difference between the given segments.

 

The phonetically similar segments …

Differ in …

[p] and [b]

voicing.

[p] and [f]

place of articulation and manner of articulation.

[l] and [r]

manner of articulation.

[p] and [t]

place of articulation.

Source
 

Rensch 1991 29


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