Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Number of phonemes (vowels, consonants) by language in Europe

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,941
    Points
    749,437
    Level
    100
    Points: 749,437, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 16.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Post Number of phonemes (vowels, consonants) by language in Europe

    I have searched the web for a list of phonemes by language, but couldn't find any. Therefore I thought it would be useful to compile one from scratch.

    Of course the number of phonemes will vary within a same language depending on the regional varieties (especially for English, which is spoken in so many countries) and local dialects (mostly in the Old World). The information below is based on the standard version of each language in Europe.

    Here is what I found using Wikipedia pages for the phonology in each language.

    I have listed semi-consonants like /j/ and /w/ as consonants.

    Since some languages regard diphthongs (and even triphthongs) as distinct phonemes and others don't, to simplify the comparison I didn't count any diphthongs in the total of vowels and phonemes. Diphthongs are listed separately and do not include diphthongs starting with semi-consonants like /ja/ and /wo/.


    Language
    Vowels
    (+Diphthongs)
    Consonants
    Total Phonemes
    Albanian 7 0 30 37
    Basque 5 (+1) 1 24 29 (+1)
    Catalan 8 6 25 (+3) 32 (+3)
    Czech 10 3 24 (+3) 37 (+3)
    Danish 32 0 20 52
    Dutch 13 (+3) 9 19 (+4) 36 (+4)
    English 12 13 24 36
    Finnish 16 18 14 (+4) 30 (+4)
    French 17 4 20 (+2) 37 (+2)
    German 17 3 25 45
    Hungarian 14 0 27 41
    Icelandic 16 11 16 (+6) 32 (+6)
    Irish Gaelic 11 5 ? 33 44
    Italian 7 6 23 30
    Norwegian 19 6 23 (+2) 42 (+2)
    Polish 6 0 31 37
    Portuguese 14 9 23 37
    Romanian 7 20 22 29
    Russian 5 (+1) 15 34 39 (+1)
    Serbo-Croatian 5 (1) 25 30
    Slovak 10 4 29 39
    Spanish (Castilian) 5 6 19 (+1) 24 (+1)
    Swedish 17 4 18 35

    For the sake of comparison, here are a few major non-European languages.

    Language
    Vowels
    (+Diphthongs)
    Consonants
    Total Phonemes
    Arabic 6 2 28 34
    Chinese (Mandarin) 9 6 26 35
    Hausa 10 4 24 34
    Hindustani 11 4 30 (+7) 41 (+7)
    Persian 6 11 26 32
    Japanese 5 2 17 22
    Turkish 8 0 23 31

    Numbers in brackets indicate vowels or consonants found only in dialects or loan words.

    Note that American English has between 4 and 6 vowels less than British English (Received Pronunciation). Brazilian Portuguese has 3 vowels less than European Portuguese.


    Top 5 for vowels

    1. Danish : 32
    2. Norwegian : 19
    3. French, German, Swedish : 17
    4. Finnish, Icelandic : 16
    5. Dutch : 13 + 3


    Top 5 for vowels + diphthongs

    1. Finnish : 34
    2. Danish : 32
    3. Icelandic, Romanian : 27
    4. Dutch, English, Norwegian : 25
    5. Portuguese : 23


    Top 5 for consonants

    1. Russian : 34
    2. Irish Gaelic : 33
    3. Polish : 31
    4. Albanian : 30
    5. Slovak : 29


    Top 5 for total phonemes including diphthongs

    1. Russian : 55
    2. Danish, Finnish : 52
    3. Norwegian : 50
    4. Dutch, English, Irish Gaelic, Romanian : 49
    5. German : 48
    Last edited by Maciamo; 05-05-14 at 11:39.
    My book selection---Follow me on Facebook and Twitter --- My profile on Academia.edu and on ResearchGate ----Check Wa-pedia's Japan Guide
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •