Use the noun phonology to describe the study of the way sounds are used in a language and the rules for pronouncing certain words, like the silent t in the French word chat.

You're most likely to hear the word phonology in a college linguistics class, learning about the meanings of specific sounds in various languages. You might hear the terms phonetics and phonemes in the same class, both of which have to do with sound, speech, language, and meaning. All of these words have their roots in the Greek word for "voice," phone, and in the case of phonology, the Greek suffix logy, which means "study, science, or theory."

Definitions of phonology

n the study of the sound system of a given language and the analysis and classification of its phonemes

a term formerly used for the part of phonology that dealt with the `correct' pronunciation of words and its relation to `correct' orthography
Type of:
descriptive linguistics
a description (at a given point in time) of a language with respect to its phonology and morphology and syntax and semantics without value judgments

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