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(in prosodic analysis) denoting a segmental element of vowel or consonant features which combines with other elements such as intonation or stress.‘The phonematic facts are far better explained and more simply set forth if we conceive of a separate phonemic category in which all stressed-vowel oppositions are suspended.’‘The tone rules, which are essential and phonematic to Thai, dictate that the stress cannot and should not be expressed by changing the tone too much.’
1930s from Greek phōnēma, phōnēmatik- ‘relating to a sound’.
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