Those speech sounds made with open, unrestricted vocal tracts, in contrast to consonants.

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30 views

Using Swadesh lists to find languages with most frequent vowel use?

Has there been any comparative studies of Swadesh lists from different language, regarding percentage of vowels vs. consonants? Some languages can occassionally be "derogative" talked about as "only ...
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3answers
94 views

What is the longest sequence of vowels in one word that you know of?

What are the longest sequence of vowels in a natural language that you know of? Be aware that this is an orthographic question, not a phonetical. Please state word, language and translation.
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1answer
47 views

What are the different ways used to ortographically show the length of vowels?

Norwegian is using vowel length contrastively. This is normally shown in ortography by double consonant after the vowel. tak(tɑːk) vs. takk(tɑk). What other ways are used to ortographically show ...
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8answers
212 views

Examples of words containing the same letter three times in a row in any language?

I was just reading a french text with the word créées (created). Are there any other languages where triple letters, especially vowels, can be found occasionally?
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1answer
96 views

Is there a vowel equivalent to the bilabial approximant?

/j/ is the semivocalic equivalent of /i/, /w/ of /u/, /ɥ/ of /y/, /ɰ/ of /ɯ/, and so forth, and I've also seen /ɹ/ described as the semivocalic equivalent of /ɚ/. Considering all of this, it seems ...
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1answer
58 views

What is the linguistically process behind prolonging of vowels?

Vowels can change from short vowels to long vowels in time But from a diachronic perspective, what is happening? Please fill in with some examples of vowels that have been prolonged and that have ...
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2answers
88 views

Acoustic description of Polish vowels

Using formants, it is possible to produce an acoustic description of vowel quality. Basically, the first formant (F1) corresponds to vowel height, and the second formant (F2) to vowel backness, as ...
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1answer
69 views

Suggestions for brushing the insides of lower back teeth

When I brush my toddler's teeth, I want good access to the lingual (inside) side of the lower back teeth, to brush them. Thus, I want my kid with parted lips and teeth and with the tongue pulled away ...
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1answer
71 views

Can the term “homorganic” be applied to vowels and glides?

As I understand it, "homorganic" means having the same place of articulation, and is said of sounds like [k] vs. [g] and [s] vs. [t]. (I couldn't find a definition from a linguistics source on the ...
4
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2answers
124 views

How to determine one's own native vowel phone repertoire?

I'm an armchair linguist. By this I mean it's been an absorbing hobby for decades by reading books and online and playing with many languages. But I've never taken any course or other kind of formal ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Fronting of a to æ in European Portuguese

In Portuguese there are two accepted reasons vowels in verbs alternate in height. The vowel harmonizing rule states that where the theme vowel (a from -ar, e from -er, and i from -ir) is deleted ...
3
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1answer
114 views

On Lao triphthongs / tones / orthography

Information on the Lao language is a bit patchy, especially when you start getting a little deeper and find gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions in and between sources on the Internet. Lao vowel ...
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1answer
35 views

“Rate” or “score” a word by various parameters

I’m working on a small project which involves a large list of words (single words, no sentence) and I would love to have a way to “rate” or “score” each word by some parameters. Right now I have two ...
5
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1answer
188 views

Is the schwa nasalized before a nasal?

I know that vowels are nasalized before a nasal in the same syllable in English. I am wondering if this would include the schwa [ə] as well? Example, would the schwa in "restriction [rɪstrɪkʃən]" be ...
5
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2answers
156 views

What, if any, difference is there between long vowels and a double vowels?

What, if any, difference is there between long vowels and a double vowels, i.e. consecutive identical vowels? For example, what is the difference between /i:/ and /ii/? Phonetically, could it be ...
3
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2answers
102 views

What is the phonological process whereby a speaker uses [ʊ] as a replacement for [l]?

What is the phonological process whereby a speaker would use [ʊ] as a replacement for [l]? Some examples off the top of my head; [lɪtl] -> [lɪtʊ], [gɪgl] -> [gɪgʊ], [twɪŋkl] -> [twɪŋkʊ]
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0answers
76 views

Praat for detecting not single vowels but vocals in a word

So. I've started using this powerfull (though inconvenient) piece of software Praat. And when i try to measure my own vocals formants of single vowels and these of native speakers (spanish) we all hit ...
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0answers
74 views

When a vowel is nasalized does it effect on how open/close + front/back it would be?

I'm trying to generalize what environments a certain set of phonemes occur, but I'm not sure if nasalization would affect where the vowel would be on the IPA vowel chart. I think my analysis of the ...
3
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0answers
82 views

Seeking Lao minimal pairs for /ɯ/ vs /ɤ/ vs /ɯː/ vs /ɤː/

In learning Lao one of the tricky things For a native English speaker is the two vowels that we don't have in English and sound very similar to us. This is compounded by the fact that both exist in ...
2
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0answers
98 views

Gulf Arabic vowels allophones

No matter how much I browse, I cannot find any true researcher's really precise and accurate data on the issue. Actually, I cannot find any Gulf Arabic Phonology compendium, so any help will be ...
4
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1answer
118 views

What vowels are most likely to be deleted in European Portuguese?

Stepping off of the airplane in Lisbon, I could immediately hear that the pronunciation was much different from Brazilian Portuguese, which I am more accustomed to. The level of vowel deletion was ...
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0answers
133 views

IPA Transcription help [closed]

I'm a linguistics student and working on narrow transcriptions. Most transcription come fairly easily to me, but I'm caught up on the vowel in the word "hard" How should the vowel be transcribed with ...
3
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0answers
98 views

Are click sounds accompanied by specific formant transitions?

Is it possible to identify click sounds like [‖ ʘ !] by formant transitions in the surrounding vowels? I know stops and fricatives have that feature. I'm just wondering how the five (main) click ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Is [ɹ] +ATR or -ATR or is that even relevant?

Has there been any investigation into the ATR quality of the central alveolar approximant [ɹ]? It is very vowel-like and I have this theory that it could simply be the result of an advanced tongue ...
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1answer
404 views

How does vowel harmony typically arise in a language?

How does vowel harmony typically arise in a language? Here's a definition of vowel harmony from the WALS chapter on Vowel Quality Inventories: http://wals.info/chapter/2. "When a language is ...
6
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1answer
593 views

Is the concept of 'long vowel' still relevant in modern English phonology?

It seems to me that despite the fact that Middle English long vowels have long since shifted dramatically, their descendants still pattern like long vowels in modern English. Since there's really very ...
5
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3answers
186 views

Do some dialects of English have a liquid vowels, such as /ɹ/ and /ɫ/?

Given that there are some languages that treat /r/ and /l/ as a vowel, such as Czech and Hindi, I am wondering how come the same isn't true in some varieties of English. As a native English speaker ...
4
votes
2answers
401 views

What are the differences between the French and English [i] and how does it affect the perception?

I'm rephrasing my question after (very helpful) comments to my initial version: What are the differences between the [i] produced by French speakers (in French) and English speakers (in English)? ...
6
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2answers
194 views

How common is phonemic vowel length across languages?

Including different kinds of length distinctions, such as in stressed syllables only, or stressed and unstressed, etc.
6
votes
2answers
495 views

Are there any languages with only front vowels?

I'm curious why every language I've heard of has back or central vowels. Are there any languages that exclusively uses front vowels (say the phonemes /a/, /e/, /i/, /y/)? I want to know this more or ...
5
votes
3answers
370 views

What languages have a three-way vowel distinction with backness?

I am learning a Tigrinya for the last couple of months, and find it difficult to grasp and produce the central vowels of the language (see picture). I want to know if there are other languages which ...
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votes
3answers
5k views

Why are consonants distinguished differently than vowels?

Consonants are distinguished normally by features like place of articulation, manner of articulation, voiced/voiceless, etc. while vowels are usually distingusihed by stuff like tongue's position and ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Is there any symbol to represent an unknown vowel?

Is there any symbol to represent a vowel? Is there any symbol to represent a constant? For example "bog", "bat" and "bag" can be represented by b[v][c] or b✦✧. Udate: In a paper I want to describe ...
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1answer
3k views

How can nasalized vowels in English be explained?

. . .Auntie *Ma*rge's present, see, it's here under. . . [audio source] In the audio above, [mɑː] sounds like this: [..m..] [......ɑː.....] ---- (time) ----> This sounds close to ...
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1answer
60 views

Is there an agreed-upon feature set that defines segments as vowels?

I have a feeling the answer is no, and that there are complications involved, but I was considering this: [-consonantal, +syllabic] This would first remove all consonants, leaving e, u, i, and ...
5
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1answer
355 views

What rule governs the vowel alternations in Latin caput/capit-/-cep(t)-/-cipit-/-ciput?

In different forms, the Latin root caput "head" appears with different vowels: a-u: caput (nominative singular); a-i: capitis (genitive singular), capitī (dative singular), capita (nominative ...
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3answers
302 views

Vowel harmony in Spanish?

Some irregular Spanish verbs with infinite in "-ir" seem to have an interesting pattern in their conjugation: For some verbs with "o" as last vowel in the infinite stem (e.g. dormir, morir), the form ...
5
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1answer
378 views

What is the most common vowel?

Of all the languages for which there is sufficient data, including extinct languages, which vocalic speech sound, or phone, as represented by the IPA, has been used by more languages, with more ...
5
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4answers
4k views

How to distinguish Korean “ㅔ” /e/ and “ㅐ” /ɛ/?

I've always had trouble with the distinction between the "e"-like vowels in European languages: /e/ vs /ɛ/. But pronouncing them the same has never caused me any problems. In fact I don't even know ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Difference between production of vowels, diphthongs and semi-vowels

I am studying speech recognition by Lawrence Rabiner's book. I am unable to find a proper and easy to understand answer for the following question : Difference between production of vowels, ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

Are there languages without vowel reduction?

Are there languages without vowel reduction? That is, are there languages in which the vowels in certain syllables are not centralized and/or "de-rounded" and/or shortened because of speaking rate, ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

How usual is it for languages to have multiple contrasting “neutral” vowels?

First of all, I used scare quotes on "neutral" because I can't think of a better word. I was going to say "central vowels" but that would cover some "a"-like vowels whereas I am only thinking of ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How can the IPA vowels be memorized?

Memorizing IPA consonants is trivially easy; each symbol represents one sound, and that sound can be described with a variety of parameters about manner of articulation, etc. The IPA vowels, however, ...
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2answers
338 views

What do the “less-than” and “greater-than” signs mean when used as IPA vowel diacritics?

I was recently reading an academic paper on Amdo Tibetan phonetics and the author uses IPA vowel diacritics that look like "less-than" and "greater-than" signs. Here is a picture so you know what I'm ...
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1answer
656 views

Is there a language with but one vowel sound?

Is there a language known to have no minimal pairs separating vowels, or in which only one vowel exists phonemically in the language, or whose speakers don't detect a difference between any two vowels ...
5
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1answer
160 views

How do linguists determine at which point the Great Vowel Shift was complete?

The chart below shows a chain of sound changes that happened to the English language, from 1400 onwards. Although the chart was intended to describe the Great Vowel Shift, it is not accurate*, since ...
5
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1answer
613 views

Does the syllable/word ratio in a language determine the number of vowel phonemes it has?

I've recently stumbled on this site dedicated to teaching English as a second language to Portuguese speakers. Right at the beginning, while making a comparison among English and Portuguese ...
4
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1answer
193 views

Literature on “broken vowels”

I am looking for any recent studies dealing substantially with "broken vowels," or vocoid elements which have a noticeably nonstable formant trajectory, yet for which there are no good phonological ...
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1answer
242 views

Systematic means of transcribing words to vowel/consontant patterns

Looking for a systematic online step-by-step process to codify English words into vowel/consontant patterns (CVC, CVCe, CVVC, etc.) and the correct sound (long-vowel, short-vowel, blend, diagraph, ...
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4answers
527 views

Why in English words, the [o] is followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is, according to Wikipedia, "usually diphthongized to [oʊ]". Examples: row, also. In fact, in Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I didn't see o standing ...