when describing vowels, increased F2 implies that the tongue is more front, and increased F1 implies that the tongue is more low. Does F3 correspond to anything, articulation wise?

2 Answers 2


It doesn't map quite as nicely as height and frontness, but F3 is to some extent associated with rounding. For example, [y] (high front rounded vowel, not palatal approximant) has a much lower F3 than [i].

  • Rounding is systematically associated with F2. F1 and F2 are sufficient to describe vowels. Sometimes, F3 fluctuates between a rounding vowel and a normal vowel, but I am not sure it is generalisable. An example from French: images.app.goo.gl/9df84ebuq2EGmvjQ6
    – amegnunsen
    Feb 23, 2020 at 19:51

In rhotic varieties of English, F3 is lowered in r-colored vowels. It's not the only accoustic difference between r-colored and not-r-colored vowels, but it is there.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.