Definitions for chroneme
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word chroneme
a basic, theoretical unit of sound that can distinguish words by duration only of a vowel or consonant
Origin: From χρόνος + -eme a suffix indicating a fundamental unit in some aspect of linguistic structure, extracted from phoneme, from φώνημα, from φωνέω, from φωνή.
In linguistics, 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, and the suffixed -eme, which is analogous to the -eme in phoneme or morpheme. 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 as being composed of two segments: and, whereas in a particular analysis, may be considered a single segment with length one of its features. This may be compared to the analysis of a diphthong like as a single segment or as the sequence of a vowel and consonant. 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.
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