AskDefine | Define phonetically

Dictionary Definition

phonetically adv : by phonetics; "phonetically realized"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. In the way it sounds, particularly: written to describe the sound rather than the dictionary spelling.
    All the hard words in this sentence have been spelled fon-et-ik-al-lee (phonetically).

Extensive Definition

Phonetics (from the Greek φωνή (phonê) "sound" or "voice") is the study of the physical sounds of human speech. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), and the processes of their physiological production, auditory reception, and neurophysiological perception.
Phonetics was studied as early as 2,500 years ago in ancient India, with account of the place and manner of articulation of consonants in his 5th century BC treatise on Sanskrit. The major Indic alphabets today order their consonants according to classification.

Types of phonetics

Phonetics has three main branches:

Phonetics and phonology

In contrast to phonetics, phonology is the study of language-specific systems and patterns of sound and gesture. While phonology is grounded in phonetics, it is a distinct area of linguistics, dealing with abstract but psychologically-real sound and gesture units (phonemes) and their variants (allophones), the distinctive properties (features) which form the basis of meaningful contrast between these units, and their classification into natural classes based on shared behavior and phonological processes. Phonetics deals with the physical properties of sounds themselves, not how they are meaningful. There are over a hundred phones recognized as basic by the International Phonetic Association (IPA) and transcribed by simple letters in their International Phonetic Alphabet.
Although "meaningful contrast" between phonemes forms the basis of other discussions of meaning, the subject of semantics does not enter into this level of linguistic analysis.


  • Abercrombie, D. (1967). Elements of General Phonetics. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh.
  • Ashby, Michael & Maidment, John. (2005). Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80882-0 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-00496-9 (pbk).
  • Catford, J. C. (1977). Fundamental problems in phonetics. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-32520-X.
  • Clark, John; & Yallop, Colin. (1995). An introduction to phonetics and phonology (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19452-5.
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  • Ladefoged, Peter. (1982). A course in phonetics (2nd ed.). London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  • Ladefoged, Peter. (2003). Phonetic data analysis: An introduction to fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23269-9 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-23270-2 (pbk).
  • Ladefoged, Peter; & Maddieson, Ian. (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-19814-8 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-19815-6 (pbk).
  • Maddieson, Ian. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge studies in speech science and communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Laver, J. (1994).Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pike, Kenneth L. (1943). Phonetics: A critical analysis of phonetic theory and a technic for the practical description of sounds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Pisoni, David B.; & Remez, Robert E. (Eds.). (2004). The handbook of speech perception. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22927-2.
  • Rogers, Henry. (2000). The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics. Harlow, Essex: Pearson. ISBN 0-582-38182-7.
  • Stevens, Kenneth N. (1998). Acoustic phonetics. Current studies in linguistics (No. 30). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-19404-X.
phonetically in Aragonese: Fonetica
phonetically in Asturian: Fonética
phonetically in Bengali: ধ্বনিবিজ্ঞান
phonetically in Belarusian: Фанетыка
phonetically in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Фанэтыка
phonetically in Bosnian: Fonetika
phonetically in Breton: Fonetik
phonetically in Bulgarian: Фонетика
phonetically in Catalan: Fonètica
phonetically in Chuvash: Фонетика
phonetically in Czech: Fonetika
phonetically in Welsh: Seineg
phonetically in Danish: Fonetik
phonetically in German: Phonetik
phonetically in Estonian: Foneetika
phonetically in Modern Greek (1453-): Φωνητική
phonetically in Spanish: Fonética
phonetically in Esperanto: Fonetiko
phonetically in Basque: Fonetika
phonetically in Persian: آواشناسی
phonetically in French: Phonétique
phonetically in Manx: Fockreeaght
phonetically in Galician: Fonética
phonetically in Korean: 음성학
phonetically in Croatian: Fonetika
phonetically in Ido: Fonetiko
phonetically in Indonesian: Fonetik
phonetically in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Phonetica
phonetically in Icelandic: Hljóðfræði
phonetically in Italian: Fonetica
phonetically in Hebrew: פונטיקה
phonetically in Swahili (macrolanguage): Fonetiki
phonetically in Latvian: Fonētika
phonetically in Luxembourgish: Phonetik
phonetically in Lojban: voksnaske
phonetically in Hungarian: Fonetika
phonetically in Dutch: Fonetiek
phonetically in Japanese: 音声学
phonetically in Norwegian: Fonetikk
phonetically in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fonetikk
phonetically in Novial: Fonetike
phonetically in Polish: Fonetyka
phonetically in Portuguese: Fonética
phonetically in Romanian: Fonetică
phonetically in Russian: Фонетика
phonetically in Albanian: Fonetika
phonetically in Simple English: Phonetics
phonetically in Slovak: Fonetika
phonetically in Slovenian: Fonetika
phonetically in Serbian: Фонетика
phonetically in Serbo-Croatian: Fonetika
phonetically in Finnish: Fonetiikka
phonetically in Swedish: Fonetik
phonetically in Tamil: ஒலிப்பியல்
phonetically in Thai: สัทศาสตร์
phonetically in Turkish: Sesbilim
phonetically in Ukrainian: Фонетика
phonetically in Yiddish: פאנעטיק
phonetically in Chinese: 语音学
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