minimal pair
noun Date: 1942 two linguistic units that differ in a single distinctive feature or constituent (as voice in the initial consonants of bat and pat)

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Minimal pair — In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have distinct meanings. They are used to demonstrate that two… …   Wikipedia

  • minimal pair — noun : two spoken language items that are identical in all constituents except one (as ]ˈded: ˈdad]) and that are often used in demonstrating or testing the phonemicness of the differing constituents * * * Ling. a pair of words, as pin and bin,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • minimal pair — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms minimal pair : singular minimal pair plural minimal pairs linguistics a pair of words that are different from each other in one sound only, for example pan and can …   English dictionary

  • minimal pair — noun A pair of words differing by only one phonetic segment or suprasegment, used to prove the validity of a proposed phoneme, toneme, or chroneme. beach and bitch and bun and ban are examples of minimal pairs. See Also: near minimal pair …   Wiktionary

  • minimal pair — n. (ling.) to produce; represent a minimal pair * * * represent a minimal pair (ling.) to produce …   Combinatory dictionary

  • minimal pair — Ling. a pair of words, as pin and bin, or bet and bed, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, esp. when such a pair is taken as evidence for the existence of a phonemic contrast between the two sounds. [1940 45] * * * …   Universalium

  • minimal pair — min′imal pair′ n. phn a pair of words, as pin and bin, differing only by one sound in the same position in each word, esp. when taken as evidence of a phonemic contrast • Etymology: 1940–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • minimal pair — /mɪnəməl ˈpɛə/ (say minuhmuhl pair) noun Phonology two words which can be represented by phonemic sequences which differ from each other at one place only, as pat/pæt/ and part/pat/ …   Australian English dictionary

  • near-minimal pair — noun A pair of words differing by a few (but more than one) phonetic segments or suprasegments, used to suggest a proposed phoneme, toneme, or chroneme may be valid. See Also: minimal pair …   Wiktionary

  • pair — n. (ling.) a minimal pair * * * [peə] (ling.) a minimal pair …   Combinatory dictionary

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