In Russian linguistics, there's a term дифтонгоид (diphthongoid). For example, in textbook Современный русский литературный язык (Modern Standard Russian) by S.V. Knjazev and S.K. Pozharitskaya, it is introduced as a unit opposed to a true diphthong (Knjazev argues that a true one should have two rather equal parts, while in a diphthongoid one part is shorter than the other).

The questions are as follows:

  • Is it true that in the western tradition this term isn't employed? (Although see https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/diphthongoid and https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025100314000395)
  • What are the cases like Russian [ᶷo] (see the latter link, page 225) called? Diphthongised [X]?
  • Is it correct to say that a diphthong has 'two rather equal parts'? To my mind, it's a continuum from A to B, so, e.g., [aɪ] is a glide starting in somewhat like [a] and ending up in somewhat like [ɪ].
  • 5
    Anecdotally, I've certainly never heard the term "diphthongoid" used before. – Draconis Feb 7 at 0:32
  • @Draconis - Then, how do you call the English RP [iːʲ] and [uːʷ] as in “fleece” and “goose”, alternative transcription being [ɪi] and [ʊu]? Narrow diphthongs? I call them diphthongoids. – Yellow Sky Feb 21 at 17:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.