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Sound unit makes request for contact (7)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

phoneme

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This could be a double definition.

'sound unit' is the first definition.
(I've seen this before)

'request for contact' is the second definition.
The answer and definition can be both related to communication as well as being singular nouns.
Maybe you can see a link between them that I don't see?

'makes' acts as a link.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for phoneme that I've seen before include "minimal piece of speech" , "Unit of spoken sound" , "distinctive sound" , "Small bit of speech" .)

I've seen this clue in The Irish Times.
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