Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



This paper mainly studies phonemic cognitive ability through the databases of living spoken languages in the Sino-Tibetan languages including 20 Chinese dialects, 6 Tibetan dialects, 5 Miao dialects, Mian, Zhuang, Thai, Li, Dai, Yi, Burmese, Zaiwa, and, Achang. The methods of statistics and information entropy and the concepts of the actual syllabic space, the syllabic theoretical space and redundancy rate are used and proposed in this paper. The results show that: (1) statistical methods can be used in the study of phonemic cognition; (2) the actual syllabic space in spoken Sino-Tibetan languages reflects the man’s phonemic cognitive ability; (3) the theoretical syllabic space composed of initial, final, and tone in the Sino-Tibetan languages reflects the dynamic process of a phoneme system in language contact and evolution; (4) a redundancy rate of 60% is the bottom limit in oral communication in the Sino-Tibetan languages. Therefore, the conclusion of this study is that not only reflects man’s phonemic cognitive ability, but also reflects the interdependence of phonemic cognition and semantic cognition, and reveals an important link in the process of a language chain from semantic to phonemic transformation, which has important theoretical significance in the study of language cognition.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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