Everything is in the title.

For example, we know that the letter A has 9 sounds in RP;

The short “a” as in at. /æ/

The long “a” as in ate. /eɪ/

It can be "silent" as in boat. /əʊ/

The schwa as in tuna. /ə/

The short “e” as in many. /e/

The long “o” as in water. /ɔ:/

The short “i” as in garbage. /ɪ/

/ɑː/ as in art

The short "o" as in swan. /ɒ/

Where can we find the percentage of occurence of the each nine cases ?

PS : The "short" and "long" descriptors are common in education in English-speaking countries : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel_length#%22Long%22_and_%22short%22_vowels_in_orthography

  • 3
    First I'd like to see a frequency chart of the pronunciations of "a" in "water". – Hot Licks Mar 21 '20 at 13:23
  • dwarf, wall, awkward, all, ball, warm, yawn, war etc. etc. – Mintou Mar 21 '20 at 13:32
  • A frequency chart would have to distinguish dialects, which would get very complex very fast. Better not to let students think of the sounds coming from the letters, since it really goes the other way: the letters come from the sounds, and it's the sounds that are real. Spelling is just technology and is not definitive of anything. – John Lawler Mar 21 '20 at 16:29
  • 1
    John Lawler, a grapheme to phoneme frequency chart of RP wouldn't have to distinguish dialects and is perfectly feasible. My question is for research and statistics purposes and I reckon the purposes of it are quite legitimate. It's interesting to understand the dependency between letters and phonemes. – Mintou Mar 21 '20 at 17:42

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