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Networks of Interlocking Differences of Sound

The title to this page is quoted from Charles Hockett's A Course in Modern Linguistics (New York, Macmillan, 1958, page 17). He gives the following table six pages later, focusing on the English vowel phonemes as found in his own speech. See if you can determine the basis for the table, including its gaps, and create one of your own, based on your own speech, using different combinations of consonants.

bee ye thee beat keen beak heel keyed Beal  
bay yea 4 they bait cane bake hail   bail  
by   thy bite kine bike Hile 7   bile  
boy       coin   Hoyle 7   boil  
boo you   boot coon     cooed Boole 7  
bow 1   though boat cone   whole code bowl  
bow 2 yow thou bout     howl cowed    
baw yaw   bought     hall cawed ball bore
bah     bot con bock   cod   bar
baa 3     bat can back Hal 8 cad    
  yeah 5   bet ken beck hell Ked 9 bell bear
    the 6 but   buck hull cud   burr
      bit kin   hill kid bill beer
          book   could bull boor

1 As for shooting an arrow. 2 As from the waist. 3 The bleat of a sheep; some people pronounce this the same as bah. 4 As in yea, team! 5 As in Oh yeah! Some people pronounce this so as to put it in the preceding row. 6 One way of pronouncing the word in isolation; the other way makes it identical with thee. 7 Surnames. 8 Nickname. 9 A trade name.

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