What is a phoneme?

 
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Definition
 

A phoneme is a member of the set of the smallest units of speech that serve to distinguish one utterance from another in a language or dialect.

Examples
 

A unit of speech is considered a phoneme if replacing it in a word results in a change of meaning. Here are some examples of phonemes:

 
  • pin becomes bin
  • Bat becomes rat
  • cot becomes cut

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