We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Diphone?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A diphone is a pair of phonetic sounds that are adjacent to each other in a verbal sequence. Linguists use the diphone as a tool to evaluate language and its uses. The diphone is a small part of a greater set of tools for examining and classifying the features any given language.

One important aspect of the diphone is its distinction from a similar language element called a diphthong. The diphthong is a combined sound that contains two or more vowel components, where a diphone is two separate sounds, including either vowels or consonants, that are placed next to each other. Another element that is similar to the diphone is the triphone. Triphones are composed of three phonetic sounds. Both diphones and triphones are often used in algorithms for natural language processing, where technology tries to either receive or communicate sound according to the technical use of these sound elements in language.

Through identifying diphones correctly, linguists and other experts can attain many different goals. One is to document any changes to the language in terms of dialect or popular use. Another would be to examine the exact use of phonetic subsets relative to others, for example, in comparing the preferred sounds in different languages.

Some scientists and others approach the use of diphones in an extremely technical way. This involves looking at all of the theoretical possible permutations for diphones in a language. In a technical evaluation, the possibilities for diphones would be exponential, since any phoneme, or phonetic element, can be placed next to another. The important thing to note about this is that almost all languages have restrictions on what phonemes are pronounced consecutively, so that in reality, the maximum number of diphones used is less than the theoretical number.

In looking at all of the diphones in a particular language, linguists can learn a lot more about that particular tongue. For example, in English, diphones are separated into several major categories. One category is voiced versus voiceless, where some phonetics have a voiced sound, like "b" and others do not, like "p".

Aside from voiced versus voiceless phonetics, diphones can also include either bilabial phonetics, pronounced with both lips, alveolar phonetics, where the tongue is near the roof of the mouth, and many other phonetic types. In addition, consonants often feature plosive phonetics, a specific kind of oral stop, as well as fricatives and sibilants, which rely on forcing air through the throat.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.