Sounds! There are lots of them. English uses some of them.
You can find all of them in the International Phonetic Alphabet. We classify them based on how you say them (shape of the mouth, location of the mouth, use of vocal cords, etc). For more information, see slides and look at the alphabet!
Linguistics has a long and storied history…that mostly consists of people in other fields doing language-y stuff. But then Chomsky appeared! Because Chomsky. See the slides or read the notes below for details. Also, check out these links:
Finding patterns in language: http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/
Recurrent neural nets are weirdly and awesomely effective: http://karpathy.github.io/2015/05/21/rnn-effectiveness/
Continue reading History of Linguistics