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Visualizing phonetic segment frequencies with density-equalizing maps

  • Jeff Mielke (a1)

A method is demonstrated for creating density-equalizing maps of IPA consonant and vowel charts, where the size of a cell in the chart reflects information such as the crosslinguistic frequency of the consonant or vowel. Transforming the IPA charts in such a way allows the visualization of interactions between phonetic features. Density-equalizing maps are used to illustrate a range of facts about consonant and vowel inventories, including the frequency of consonants and vowels and the frequency of common diacritics, and to illustrate the frequency of deletion and epenthesis involving particular consonants and vowels. Solutions are proposed for issues involving genealogical sampling, counting pairs of very similar phones, and counting diacritics in relation to basic symbols.

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Journal of the International Phonetic Association
  • ISSN: 0025-1003
  • EISSN: 1475-3502
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