The great Phoible 2.0 has exclusive list of segment usages based on "Languages", but since some languages such as Lak are only used by handful of people, it won't make any sense if I employ their pronunciations/segments in the language I'm creating , is it?

For example, /k͈ʷ/ sounds are ONLY used in Lak, this sounds would definitely not recommended to be put into my collection of alphabets of my language.

After all, what's the point of making a language if "only handful of people in the whole Earth knows how to pronounce it correctly"!?

And, English and Japanese are both count as "one" language, but we can't never deny the fact that "English speaker" is WAY~ more then "Japanese speaker"!

(~400M native speaker against ~128M according to Wiki)

So, if I choose some sounds that "only" English speakers knows how to pronounce over some "Japanese-only" sounds, you could bet that there are about 272M more people knows how to pronounce that sound correctly.

So, I was wondering if there is some other "outstanding" list out there based their list on "the amount of people using it"?

Much appreciated!

  • I’m honestly really confused about what you mean when you refer to ‘employ[ing another] language in mine’ — could you clarify this point please? As far as I’m aware, languages can’t really ‘contain’ other languages in any meaningful way. (Another point: just because Lak has few speakers, that doesn’t mean that non-speakers can’t pronounce it correctly — to give but one example, I (a monolingual English speaker) can pronounce a Lak text more or less correctly, if given in phonetic transcription.)
    – bradrn
    Jan 18 at 9:54
  • @bradrn I had updated my question, hope it helps. Jan 18 at 10:24
  • 2
    Thanks @PiggyChu001! I feel that a big part of your problem is that you are running into PHOIBLE’s inadequacies (which are sadly many, so always take it with a huge grain of salt). For instance, your example of /k͈ʷ/ is not actually a sound unique to Lak: it is a perfectly ordinary phoneme found in many other languages as well. However, the person who input the Lak inventory into PHOIBLE decided to transcribe it using a non-standard diacritic for ‘fortis’; no other person has used this exact diacritic, resulting in PHOIBLE reporting it unique. PHOIBLE contains many other such inconsistencies.
    – bradrn
    Jan 18 at 12:03
  • @bradrn Wow, I didn't know that! Thanks for your information! Then where could I get more "consistent and accurate" list? Jan 19 at 5:44
  • Sadly, I know of none. Any large list of languages like PHOIBLE will run into exactly the same issues. (For instance, WALS is a similarly useful database with similar inaccuracies, though it’s a bit better than PHOIBLE.) However, there are a couple of things you can do to get more accurate results. A good thing to do is to double-check with another source, such as a reference grammar or even Wikipedia (though that one can also be inaccurate) — this reveals, for instance, that Lak has /kʷ kːʷ kʷʼ/, but no /k͈ʷ/. …
    – bradrn
    Jan 19 at 6:22

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