Abstract

This short report investigates the relationship between population size and phoneme inventory size, and finds a surprisingly robust correlation between the two. The more speakers a language has, the bigger its phoneme inventory is likely to be. We show that this holds for both vowel inventories and consonant inventories. It is not an artifact of language family.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 388-400
Launched on MUSE
2007-07-23
Open Access
No
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