A phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most dialects of English, with the notable exception of the west midlands and the north-west of England, the sound patterns and are two separate words that are distinguished by the substitution of one phoneme, /n/, for another phoneme, /ŋ/. Two words like this that differ in meaning through the contrast of a single phoneme form a minimal pair. If, in another language, any two sequences differing only by pronunciation of the final sounds or are perceived as being the same in meaning these two sounds are interpreted as variants of a single phoneme in that language. Phonemes that are established by the use of minimal pairs, such as tap vs tab or pat vs bat, are written between slashes: /p/, /b/. To show pronunciation, linguists use square brackets:. Within linguistics, there are differing views as to what phonemes are and how a given language should be analyzed in phonemic terms. However, a phoneme is regarded as an abstraction of a set of speech sounds that are perceived as equivalent to each other in a given language.

For example, the English k sounds in the words kill and skill are not identical, but they are distributional variants of a single phoneme /k/. Speech sounds that differ but do not create a meaningful change in the word are known as allophones of the same phoneme. Allophonic variation may be conditioned, in which case a certain phoneme is realized as a certain allophone in particular phonological environments, or it may otherwise be free, may vary by speaker or by dialect. Therefore, phonemes are considered to constitute an abstract underlying representation for segments of words, while speech sounds make up the corresponding phonetic realization, or the surface form. Phonemes are conventionally placed between slashes in transcription, whereas speech sounds are placed between square brackets. Thus, /pʊʃ/ represents a sequence of three phonemes, /p/, /ʊ/, /ʃ/, represents the phonetic sequence of sounds; this should not be confused with the similar convention of the use of angle brackets to enclose the units of orthography, graphemes.

For example, ⟨f⟩ represents the written letter f. The symbols used for particular phonemes are taken from the International Phonetic Alphabet, the same set of symbols most used for phones. However, descriptions of particular languages may use different conventional symbols to represent the phonemes of those languages. For languages whose writing systems employ the phonemic principle, ordinary letters may be used to denote phonemes, although this approach is hampered by the complexity of the relationship between orthography and pronunciation. A phoneme is a sound or a group of different sounds perceived to have the same function by speakers of the language or dialect in question. An example is the English phoneme /k/, which occurs in words such as cat, scat, skit. Although most native speakers do not notice this, in most English dialects, the "c/k" sounds in these words are not identical: in kit, the sound is aspirated, but in skill, it is unaspirated; the words, contain different speech sounds, or phones, transcribed for the aspirated form and for the unaspirated one.

These different sounds are nonetheless considered to belong to the same phoneme, because if a speaker used one instead of the other, the meaning of the word would not change: using the aspirated form in skill might sound odd, but the word would still be recognized. By contrast, some other sounds would cause a change in meaning if substituted: for example, substitution of the sound would produce the different word still, that sound must therefore be considered to represent a different phoneme; the above shows that in English, are allophones of a single phoneme /k/. In some languages and are perceived by native speakers as different sounds, substituting one for the other can change the meaning of a word. In those languages, the two sounds represent different phonemes. For example, in Icelandic, is the first sound of kátur, meaning "cheerful", but is the first sound of gátur, meaning "riddles". Icelandic, has two separate phonemes /kʰ/ and /k/. A pair of words like kátur and gátur that differ only in one phone is called a minimal pair for the two alternative phones in question.

The existence of minimal pairs is a common test to decide whether two phones represent different phonemes or are allophones of the same phoneme. To take another example, the minimal pair tip and dip illustrates that in English, belong to separate phonemes, /t/ and /d/. In other languages, including Korean, both sounds and occur, but no such minimal pair exists; the lack of minimal pairs distinguishing and in Korean provides evidence that they are allophones of a single phoneme /t/. The word /tata/ is pronounced, for example; that is, when they hear this word, Korean-speakers perceive the same sound in both the beginning and middle of the word, but English-speakers perceive different sounds in these two locations. Signed languages, such as American Sign Language have

1999 Botswana general election

General elections were held in Botswana on 16 October 1999, alongside local elections. The result was an eighth straight victory for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which increased its majority to 33 of the 40 elected seats in the National Assembly. A referendum on electoral reform in 1997 had led to the creation of a new Independent Electoral Commission, the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18, allowing overseas citizens to vote. Prior to the election, the National Assembly was dissolved in late July 1999; because fewer than half of the 800,000 eligible voters had registered, it was decided in late July to introduce supplementary voter registration. On 27 August it was reported that President Festus Mogae had set the election date for 16 October. However, announcing the date invalidated the supplementary voter registration because the names of the registered voters had not yet been published for inspection; as a result, Mogae declared a state of emergency so that the National Assembly could meet again to amend legislation in order to allow the addition of about 60,000 people to the voters roll.

A spokesman for the Botswana Electoral Commission described the situation as "very normal" and said that the election date would not be changed. The opposition Botswana Alliance Movement and Botswana Congress Party were critical, with the former's Lepetu Setshwaelo describing it as "the biggest scandal since our independence" and calling the government "totally incompetent"; the BCP said that the state of emergency was unnecessary. The main opposition party, the Botswana National Front split in mid-1998 after party leader Kenneth Koma was suspended by the party's central committee, had the suspension overturned by a court ruling. After Koma returned to the party leadership, he formed a caretaker committee to remove the members who had opposed him; the excluded members subsequently left to form the BCP, which included 11 of the BNF's 13 MPs and most of its local councillors. As a result, BCP leader Michael Dingake replaced Koma as Leader of the Opposition. Following talks that began in late 1998, the BNF, the United Action Party and five other opposition parties agreed to form the BAM in January 1999.

However, the BNF had left the alliance by the end of April 1999 after the other parties refused to allow the BNF to determine the Alliance's candidates in every constituency. The election campaign was low-key, focussed on poverty, wealth distribution and the country's AIDS epidemic; the BDP campaigned on a promise of prudent financial management, industrial diversification and efforts to combat the AIDS problem. The BNF criticised the government's economic policy, claiming it was too focussed on urban areas; the BCP claimed the government was too complacent, having been in power since the mid-1960s. Following the elections, the National Assembly re-elected Mogae as President on 20 October

James Spedding

James Spedding was an English author, chiefly known as the editor of the works of Francis Bacon. He was born in Cumberland, the younger son of a country squire, was educated at Bury St Edmunds and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1835 he entered the Colonial Office, but he resigned this post in 1841. In 1842 he was secretary to Lord Ashburton on his American mission, in 1855 he became secretary to the Civil Service Commission. On 1 March 1881 he was knocked down by a cab in London, on the 9th he died of erysipelas. Spedding's major edition of Bacon's works was begun in 1847 in collaboration with Robert Leslie Ellis and Douglas Denon Heath. In 1853 Ellis had to leave the work to Spedding, with the occasional assistance of Heath, who edited most of the legal writings; the Works were published in 1857 -- 1859 in seven volumes, followed by the Letters. Taken together these works contain all the material which exists in connection with the subject and weighed with care and impartiality. In 1853, Delia Bacon approached Spedding with her belief that Francis Bacon was instrumental in the authorship of Shakespeare's works.

Spedding's initial reaction was "speechless astonishment. Spedding was the first person to recognise the hand of John Fletcher in Shakespeare's Henry VIII—his "Who Wrote Henry VIII?" appeared in 1850. Spedding humorously emphasised his devotion to Bacon in the title of one of his non-Baconian works and Discussions, Literary and Historical, not relating to Bacon; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Spedding, James". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25. Cambridge University Press. P. 632. Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5 Volume 6 Volume 7 Volume 8 Volume 9 Volume 10 Volume 11 Volume 12 Volume 13 Volume 14 Volume 15 Works by or about James Spedding at Internet Archive Works by James Spedding at LibriVox Review of Spedding's Francis Bacon: His Life and Times in The New York Times, 29 December 1878 Lee, Sidney, ed.. "Spedding, James". Dictionary of National Biography. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co