Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

<conference> is the Inquiry of the Day for my Faculty meeting. As Pete suggested, it should be 'teacher-led" inquiry for the first few sessions so I am doing my research and would appreciate input to make sure I got it all correct.  Thanks, in advance for your help.

What does the word mean?
As a noun- it is a formal meeting for discussion, usually taking place over several days *interesting as ours are single sessions lasting 15- 20 minutes, thus making me wonder if we should be calling them Student Led Discussions

How is it built?
Here is where I have some questions. Pete and I had some discussions and were pointing toward <fer> as the base, but in my research, I have not been able to locate this as an option.  The first option I came upon was <fere>  (from ME) meaning companion and I thought this was the one as a conference is discussion with others.  However, when I began to look at relatives, I came across <conferment>.  When I checked it out, I came across <ferre> (Late ME) meaning to bring.  This, for me, makes more sense as a conference is to bring together people for discussion.  Below is where this search has brought me.

I think it is con + ferr/e/ +ence --> conference
<ferre> as the base (originally from Late Middle English ) meaning to bring  
<con-> refers together/with.
<-ence> refers to an action or its result
Am I correct in this?  When Pete and I were talking yesterday, <fer> came up, but I am unable to locate it in any of my sources?
What are its relatives?
<conferences> , <conferencing>,  <confer> , <conferred> , <conferring>, <conferred>, <teleconference> , <teleconferences> , <teleconferencing>, <videoconferencing>, <videoconferencing> , <videoconferencing>,  <conferment>,  <conferments>

How do we pronounce it?
|ˈkɒnf(ə)r(ə)ns| - not the best at this :) so I want to run it buy you-- In the word conference, are  the following phonemes correct?
/ˈk/ /ɒ/ /n/ /f/ /ə/ /r/ /ə/ /ns/

Okay, be easy on me. :)   My meeting is tomorrow afternoon, so if you can respond before then, I would greatly appreciate it.I  look forward to your feedback.

One more thing,  Is there anywhere online that you are aware of, that has a correct list of all the English language phonemes (voiced and unvoiced) along with an audio pronunciation?  It would be a great support for the inquiries with my teacher assistants.  The last thing I want to due is teach them incorrectly and I am still undoing my own learning so this could happen if I do not have the proper resources.

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