Assignment of speech sounds to phonemes
Other features with phonemic status
Distribution of allophones
Restrictions on occurrence
- /ŋ/, as in sing, occurs only at the end of a syllable, never at the beginning (in many other languages, such as Māori, Swahili, Tagalog, and Thai, /ŋ/ can appear word-initially).
- /h/ occurs only before vowels and at the beginning of a syllable, never at the end (a few languages, such as Arabic, or Romanian allow /h/ syllable-finally).
- In many American dialects with the cot–caught merger, /ɔ/ occurs only before /r/ and /l/ (and in the diphthong [ɔɪ] if this is not interpreted as a single phoneme).
- In non-rhotic dialects, /r/ can only occur before a vowel, never at the end of a word or before a consonant.
- /w/ and /j/ occur only before a vowel, never at the end of a syllable (except in interpretations where a word like boy is analyzed as /bɔj/).