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

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1answer
88 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
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
2
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2answers
90 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
54 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
67 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
54 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
65 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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0answers
72 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
116 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
votes
0answers
86 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
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
10
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1answer
252 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
votes
1answer
454 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
votes
2answers
120 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
346 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)? ...
3
votes
0answers
92 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
364 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
2answers
316 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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
191 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
207 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
282 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
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
264 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
1answer
129 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
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
270 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
501 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
votes
1answer
147 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
votes
1answer
408 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
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
231 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, ...
7
votes
4answers
437 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
501 views

Which languages other than Chinese have apical vowels?

Which languages other than some Chinese languages have apical vowels? The "apical vowels" are the i in zi, ci, si (in IPA: z̩ (also seen as ɿ)) and ʐ̩ (also seen as ʅ). They are basically buzzed ...
8
votes
4answers
546 views

In Turkish, how exactly does “ğ” affect the vowel it follows?

In Standard Turkish, "ğ" is explained as having no sound of its own but instead lengthens the previous vowel. So would "aa" and "ağ" sound alike? What about "â" and "ağa"? Can there sometimes be ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

How do linguists place the vowels of a language precisely on the vowel trapezoid?

Since vowels in human speech are a continuous spectrum rather than a discrete set, many descriptions of languages I’ve seen — not only on Wikipedia — place the vowels of a language as dots in a ...
4
votes
4answers
167 views

Distinction of vowels depends on native language

I have seen a computer experiment at a science museum that asked the user to distinguish very similar vowels by sound explaining that visitors with different native language can distinguish different ...