Sentences containing every English phoneme...
October 14, 2005 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Sentences like "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" contain all the letters in the alphabet. Are there similar sentences that are designed to contain all of the commonly accepted phonemes in the English language?
posted by ubersturm to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
All I know is that they're called "pangrams". Maybe that will help a little in your search.
posted by Plutor at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2005

The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
posted by jonmc at 11:20 AM on October 14, 2005

The OP wasn't looking for more pangrams, but a sentence that contains all the English phonemes, that is, a single sentence with all the sounds of the English language.
posted by stopgap at 11:26 AM on October 14, 2005

There's a speech pathology diagnostic tool called the Fisher-Logemann Test of Articulation which has sets of sentences that fit this description for the purpose of detecting speech abnormalities, but I can't find sample sentences with a quick search.
posted by jessamyn at 11:30 AM on October 14, 2005

Here you go, and as a bonus, you can listen to people with regional dialects read it. There are a few other stories on that page as well.

Once there was a young rat named Arthur, who could never make up his mind. Whenever his friends asked him if he would like to go out with them, he would only answer, "I don't know." He wouldn't say "yes" or "no" either. He would always shirk making a choice.

His aunt Helen said to him, "Now look here. No one is going to care for you if you carry on like this. You have no more mind than a blade of grass."

One rainy day, the rats heard a great noise in the loft. The pine rafters were all rotten, so that the barn was rather unsafe. At last the joists gave way and fell to the ground. The walls shook and all the rats' hair stood on end with fear and horror. "This won't do," said the captain. "I'll send out scouts to search for a new home."

Within five hours the ten scouts came back and said, "We found a stone house where there is room and board for us all. There is a kindly horse named Nelly, a cow, a calf, and a garden with an elm tree." The rats crawled out of their little houses and stood on the floor in a long line. Just then the old one saw Arthur. "Stop," he ordered coarsely. "You are coming, of course?" "I'm not certain," said Arthur, undaunted. "The roof may not come down yet." "Well," said the angry old rat, "we can't wait for you to join us. Right about face. March!"

Arthur stood and watched them hurry away. "I think I'll go tomorrow," he calmly said to himself, but then again "I don't know; it's so nice and snug here."

That night there was a big crash. In the morning some men—with some boys and girls—rode up and looked at the barn. One of them moved a board and he saw a young rat, quite dead, half in and half out of his hole. Thus the shirker got his due.
posted by nekton at 11:46 AM on October 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Similarly: Please call Stella.
posted by jjg at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

One issue would be settling on a list of phonemes. "The exact number of phonemes in English depends on the speaker and the method of determining phoneme vs. allophone, but estimates typically range from 40 to 45..."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2005

Make Your Own Pangram
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2005

In the story nekton posted, where is zh, as in pleasure/measure/Zsa Zsa?
I'm quite ready to believe I missed it, but I tried to be careful.
posted by Aknaton at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2005

Aknaton- perhaps zh is considered an allophone
of sh in English, in which case the phoneme shows up in "crash".
posted by oneirodynia at 2:37 PM on October 14, 2005

perhaps zh is considered an allophone of sh in English

Well, I tevinidly ton'd gonssitter id an allovone. Nor k/g, s/z, f/v, etz.
posted by Aknaton at 3:32 PM on October 14, 2005

Not directly relevant, but this is an interesting book...
Ella Minnow Pea
posted by clh at 4:45 PM on October 14, 2005

zh is also in j (dzh). But the rat story is not billed as a comprehensive demonstration of every phoneme in English, just as a "text useful for accent determination".
posted by dhartung at 10:47 PM on October 14, 2005

zh is also in j (dzh)

Unvoicing: would you assert "sh is also in ch (tsh)"?
Put that way, maybe I believe it... I can't make the noises "ch" and "tsh" in such a way that I hear a difference or feel a mouth difference.

the rat story is not billed as a comprehensive demonstration of every phoneme in English

Thanks! I was stupidly missing that.
posted by Aknaton at 11:18 PM on October 14, 2005

« Older Illuminated Shoes   |   The pipes are rattling and it ain't my ghost! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.