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QUESTION

I was wondering is there a language that has a complete one-to-one correspondence between the graphemes (letters) and the phonemes of the language?

Or rather, is there a language that is 100% ideally phonemic?

{ asked by Pacerier }

ANSWER

Finnish is the usual exemplar for that.

Many recent alphabetizations, like those of Native American languages (Lushootseed is one example), are still phonemic in the sense that the spoken language hasn't had time yet to change away from the phonemic system it had when the alphabet was developed. Or in other cases, where there are no native speakers any more, all language learning is based on the alphabetic representation, by necessity.

Of course, there are plenty of non-alphabetic writing systems with little or no useful correspondence between phonemes and graphemes. Since phonemics is an alphabetic representation system, it can't be put into 1-1 correspondence with an abjad or an abugida, let alone with a lexically-based system like Chinese.

{ answered by jlawler }
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