Vowels Vowels are the most sonorant (or intense) and the most audible sounds in speech. They usually function as the nucleus (or core) of a syllable. The.
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1 VowelsVowels are the most sonorant (or intense) and the most audible sounds in speech.They usually function as the nucleus (or core) of a syllable.The consonants that surround vowels often depend on them for their audibility.
2 Vowels Take the word pop for example. The [p]’s are heard mainly because of the way they affect the beginning and end of the vowel sound.
3 VowelsAsk someone to describe where the tongue is at the beginning of a consonant and you will get a concrete answer.Ask someone to describe where their tongue is at the beginning of a vowel, and you will get a variety of responses.It is much more difficult to give a satisfactory articulatory description of vowels.
4 VowelsVowels are sounds produced with a relatively open vocal tract, so they do not have a consonant-like point of articulation or manner of articulation.Instead, the vocal tract above the glottis acts as a resonator affecting the sound made by the vocal folds.
5 VowelsThe shape of this resonator determines the quality of the vowel.Since vowels are so very different from consonants, we have to use different features than those used to describe consonants.
6 VowelsThere are several ways in which speakers can change the shape of the vocal tract, and thus change vowel quality.Using a new feature system, we can create a chart to describe vowels.
7 VowelsLet’s begin by constructing a basic representation of the mouth.You should keep in mind, however, that this (unlike the representation of the articulators involved in producing consonants) is only an abstract representation of the mouth.
8 VowelsA representation of this abstract mouth can be found on the inside cover of your textbookBe aware, however, that we will have to modify this representation somewhat to fully use our new feature system
10 VowelsTongue HeightIf you repeat to yourself the vowel sounds in seat, set, sat, you will find that you open your mouth a little wider as you change from each sound.These varying degrees of openness correspond to different degrees of tongue height: high, mid, low.
11 VowelsHigh vowels are made with the front of the mouth less open because the tongue body is raised, or high.Mid vowels are produced with an intermediate tongue height.Low vowels are pronounced with the front of the mouth open and the tongue lowered.
13 Vowels Tongue Advancement Besides being held high or mid or low, the tongue can also be pushed forward or pulled back within the oral cavity.For example, in beat, the body of the tongue is raised and pushed forward so it is just under the hard palate.
14 VowelsIn boot, however, the body of the tongue is in the back of the mouth, toward the velum.The tongue is advanced or pushed forward for all the front vowels, and retracted or pulled back for the back vowels.
18 VowelsTo make our chart complete, however, we are going to have to add in one more set of featuresTense vs. LaxVowels that are called tense are produced with an extra degree of muscular effort.Lax vowels lack this extra effort.
19 VowelsFor example, tense front vowels are made with a stronger (i.e., longer and more extreme) tongue fronting gesture than lax front vowels, which are produced with a weaker fronting movement.Tense rounded vowels are also made with stronger or tighter lip rounding than their lax counterparts.
21 Vowels Charting Vowels Starting from the upper left corner again, the first vowel that we encounter, a front, high, tense, unrounded vowel, is represented by the symbol [i]This is the sound in the word beat.
41 VowelsNext is a back, mid, lax, rounded vowel, represented by the symbol called open o (or sometimes backward c):This is the sound in the word long (at least for me!!!).Or maybe the first sound in “aw shucks”Here is what it looks like:
46 VowelsFinally, moving to the middle of our abstract mouth, we encounter a central, mid, lax, unrounded vowel, represented by the symbol called a schwa:This is the last sound in the word sofa.Here is what it looks like:
52 VowelsDiphthongsAt this point, we still have not described the vowel sounds of some English words (in many English dialects) such as hide, loud, and coin.These words contain diphthongs or two-part vowel sounds in the same syllable.
53 VowelsIf (most of) you say eye slowly, concentrating on how you make this vowel, you should find that your tongue starts out in the position for [a] and moves toward the position for the vowel [i] or the corresponding palatal glide [y].
54 VowelsThis diphthong, which consists of two articulations and the two corresponding sounds, is written with two symbols: in IG as [aj] as in [hajd] hide (or as [ai] in the IPA and [ay] and [a] in various places elsewhere).
56 VowelsTo make the vowel of loud, the tongue and the lips start in position for [a] and move toward the position for [u] or [w], so this diphthong is written [aw], as in [lawd] loud (or as [au] in the IPA and [a] elsewhere).
58 VowelsIn the vowel of coin, the movement is from the open o position toward the position for [i] or [y], so the vowel of coin is written [j] as in [kjn] (or as  in the IPA.You may also see [oj], [o], [oi] and [oy] elsewhere.
62 VowelsIn truth, however, no sound is ever pronounced in exactly the same way twice.Pronunciation varies among speakers as well.Variations in the way that a sound is produced are predictable, however.
63 VowelsA Narrow Transcription, or a transcription that shows the fine details of the articulation of phones, can be used to record some of the more predictable variations in sound.Aspirated stopsNot all voiceless stops are the same.
64 Vowels Take, for example the words pat and spat. Can you feel the puff of air when you say pat?This puff of air is called aspiration.
65 Vowels Aspiration is transcribed as , as in [pt] Aspiration (in English) occurs on all voiceless oral (nonglottal) stops occurring as the first sound in a stressed syllable.
66 Vowels To understand this better, contrast the following words: Pat [p t] spat [spt]Kid [kd] skid [skd]Top [tap] stop [stap]
67 Vowels Dental Consonants Say the word health or unthinkable. Consonants which are ordinarily produced with the tongue at the alveolar ridge are articulated differently when followed by an inter-dental consonant theta or eth
68 VowelsIn this environment, they are pronounced with the tip of the tongue on the teeth, rather than the alveolar ridge.Health [hl] unthinkable [nkbl]
70 Vowels Velarized [l] Now say the words bowl and lobe. In a broad transcription, ‘bowl’ and ‘lobe’ are represented as containing the same segments; only the order differs.For many speakers, however, the [l] sounds are actually not identical.
71 VowelsThe [l] in bowl is velarized, (also called ‘dark’), while the [l] of ‘lobe’ is “clear.” The velarized [l] is transcribed as an l with a bar through itFeel [fił] vs. leaf [lif]Pill [pł] vs. lip [lp]
73 Vowels Lengthened vowels: Now say the words peas and peace. Vowels in certain phonetic environments are longer than the same vowels in other environments. In particular, vowels which are followed by a voiced consonant are longer in duration than those followed by a voiceless consonant.
74 Vowels To transcribe this, use the symbol [:] Peas [pi:z] vs. peace [pis]Had [h:d] vs.hat [ht]
76 Vowels Nasalized vowels: Finally, say the words green and greed. These words seem identical, but on closer inspection, the vowels are different in one respect.The vowel in green is nasalized, as a result of the consonant that follows it.
77 Vowels In a nasalized vowel, the velum is lowered. In green, we lower our velum a little early and allow air out of the nasal passage. To transcribe this, use the symbol [~]Green [grĩn] tan [tn]This sound is contrasting in French: beau vs. bõn