Questions tagged [vowels]

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

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3
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1answer
79 views

Pre-fortis clipping of /n/

Pre-fortis clipping is usually defined as operating on vowels. See, for example, John Wells’s blog post on the subject. But at least in my idiolect (Northern English-influenced RP), in the environment ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Do all semivowels have vowel equivalents, and vice versa?

I realise this is likely to be highly theoretical, as in “there could be such sounds but they aren’t phonemic in any language”. But I have a burning curiosity, and I’m hoping that there’s a concrete ...
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0answers
97 views

A language without consonants

I know that Rotokas language has fewer consonants than most (all?) languages. But I haven't been able to find a language that has no consonants (whether phonemic or phonetic). Does such a language ...
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2answers
168 views

What do these diagrams of vowels actually represent?

I've heard many times that spoken language is subjected to variations and we never make the exact same sound when we speak, even for the same word. If that's the case, how can you be so exact about ...
4
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1answer
134 views

Fewest number of vowels in a Germanic language?

Yiddish has an unusually small vowel inventory for a Germanic language, which are generally notorious for their large number of vowel phonemes. Probably under the influence of the surrounding gentile ...
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1answer
136 views

order of tables in the IPA chart -- is there a reason?

I was told by a friend that the order of tables in the IPA chart is not completely arbitrary, but has some motivation to it. In particular, that C tables come before the V table, as features of C ...
16
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4answers
8k views

What is the longest word without a vowel in any language?

(see edit below before you answer!) I'm not a linguist, but I've always been fascinated by the fact that in Czech, there is a 9-letter word without a single vowel: čtvrthrst. It means "quarter of ...
4
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2answers
579 views

How is a svarabhakti different from a vowel

I recently came across the concept of "svarabhakti" in the context of the Gaelic word "Alba" (pronounced with a vowel between l and b). What I'm confused about is why this is ...
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1answer
70 views

Vowel change OE

My question is: comparing the words for the verb "hear" in Gothic(hausjan) and Old English(hieran), I became curious as to how did the diphthong 'au' came to be 'ie' in OE. I tried ...
5
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1answer
643 views

Origin of the English word 'tooth' being pronounced /tʊθ/?

According to Wiktionary, the English word 'tooth' can be pronounced as /tʊθ/ (as opposed to its regular pronunciation in RP of /tuːθ/) in certain areas of Wales and the British Midlands. Is there any ...
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1answer
160 views

Could Old English /ea/ be a derivative from /a/?

"...This includes changes from the split between Old English and Old Frisian (c. AD 475)..." [Wikipedia] The reflex of Proto-Germanic *au is spelled ea in Old English, but spelled a in Old ...
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2answers
226 views

Are there languages where vowels are always oral?

I was surprised to find in Zsiga (2020: 120, 125) a claim (by Donegan & Stampe 2009) that vowels in Hawaiian, as well as oral vowels in French, are always oral. Unfortunately Donegan & Stampe ...
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22 views

Formant frequencies of regional Irish English vowels by female speakers

Do you know any research that show the formants of English Irish vowels by female speakers?
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3answers
132 views

Is [ë̞] another symbol for [ə]?

I know that the diacritic ̈ is for centralization and ̞ for lowered. So when [e] is centralized, it becomes [ɘ] and when lowered it becomes [ə]. See the diagram: If someone gives me the ...
3
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1answer
147 views

Vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious'

I came across a question on English Language & Usage asking about why the vowels in the second syllable of 'harmonic' and 'harmonious' are pronounced differently. Harmonic → /hɑːˈmɒn.ɪk/ ...
3
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1answer
34 views

Unmoving F1 / formant below F1?

I'm trying to understand some basics, hope this is an ok question. Here's a recording of me producing /i/, /ɛ/, /a/: https://namakajiri.net/misc/i%c9%9ba.webm nevermind the transition between the ...
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1answer
63 views

Epenthesis using SPE-notation

Suppose in some language the following happens: when the stem ends in front vowels (i, e), then adding a certain suffix X requires j insertion (so it looks like [.. i j X] or [... e j X] instead of [....
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1answer
67 views

Has a sound change ever happened that voiced only stops in between vowels and not fricatives?

Has this ever happened? Can it happen? I'm a novice in linguistics and I'm trying to study sound changes.
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4answers
196 views

are there any languages that have sounds in diphthongs that don’t occur in isolation?

essentially i am doing an assignment for class in which we are building a pretend vowel system for a pretend language based on sound files we are given. i had two diphthong files with 5 other files ...
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0answers
39 views

Terminology about elongating a monothong or a diphthong by duration and tone

Which terminology is applicable when a monothong or diphthong is elongated in duration and with a slightly higher pitch? Would it be vowel breaking or fracturing or something else? Example 1 (...
0
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1answer
96 views

How to differenciate the long vowels from the actual letters in arabic?

I'm learning beginner in arabic and I can't find a proper grammar rule to figure it out. There is a lot of lessons on long vowels but they are totally disjointed from the question "How to ...
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1answer
57 views

What are the phonological rules or constraints for these pairs of words?

Mongol-Mongolia Arab-Arabia Babylon-Babylonian Boston-Bostonian comedy-comedian colony-colonial I know that the vowel in the second syllable is lengthened, but what are the rules or constraints for ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there such a thing as an L colored vowel?

I am wondering about vowels with approximant sounds. I am talking about a variant of a r colored vowel. An r colored vowel is found in words like earth. But, I want to take this a step further. Is ...
2
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3answers
223 views

Similarity between voiced glottal fricative and schwa sound?

I remember trying to whisper a schwa sound (mid central vowel). I thought that it sounded like an H sound. So, I tried to voice the h. It sounded a lot like the schwa. I wonder why. Is there a link ...
6
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1answer
213 views

Can Semitic (Hebrew & Arabic) roots have vowels?

To the best of my knowledge, roots in Semitic, both Arabic & Hebrew, do not contain vowels. They are purely consonantal at the base. I read this a couple of years ago about Hebrew in Levin & ...
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2answers
202 views

Unvoiced schwa?

I read about a the schwa being the laziest sound in all of human speech. This is because it just needs vocal cords and, poof, there's a uuuh sound. But, what happens if you take the vocal cords out? (...
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1answer
193 views

Why is the vowel speech sound (called "ash") in "Tank" and "Cat" considered the same?

The vowel in "Tank" sounds more like ɛ to me, yet the IPA spelling for "Tank" (as pronounced in General American English) employs the ash [æ] to represent the vowel. The same for the word "thank" in ...
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1answer
38 views

Praat - window size larger than vowel

I'm doing an acoustic-phonetic analysis of read-speech in an American English corpus. If we want to set a window/frame size (25 - 30 ms) to cover the majority of vowels in the corpus, but some vowels (...
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2answers
255 views

Why is the diphthong in 'say' and 'fate' /eɪ/ rather than /ɛi/?

When I say the word 'day,' I say /dɛi/, or perhaps /dɛj/. However, when I look at any dictionary that uses IPA, they always write the diphthong as /eɪ/. Why is this? Maybe my dialect of English (UK ...
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0answers
73 views

Does California vowel shift occur in bilingual Spanish speakers?

I know that recently there has been a lot of research done on the California vowel shift being a key part of a California accent for younger kids who have grown up there. Knowing that there is a ...
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1answer
582 views

Voice pitch changing between languages

I speak English natively, but I have learned Spanish to a high level of proficiency and speak Latvian (still learning) with my wife who speaks Latvian natively and English with native proficiency (...
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2answers
223 views

Could the Ancient Egyptian Ka be pronounced Ki?

I am looking at the word /ki/ such as this 𓎡𓇋. However, I noticed there are some words/sounds like /ka/ (𓂓) which is one symbol. Typically you see the word for the "sun god of egypt" as Ra, but ...
4
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3answers
312 views

GVS similarity in cognate words other Germanic Languages

I am no professional Linguist (nor have I ever studied it) so there might be a straightforward explanation to this which I could't find searching in ordinary places. I was analysing a few words from ...
6
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3answers
187 views

Is there good evidence for five vowel phonemes in Hittite?

The Hittite writing system generally distinguishes three, sometimes four vowels: /a i u/ and sometimes /e/. However, I've seen it suggested that the language actually had five vowel phonemes, ...
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2answers
562 views

If Hebrew is written without vowels can there be multiple interpretations?

This may be a silly question though I am unsure of this is the case for Hebrew. I know often the vowels are not shown in Hebrew in writing. Curious if it changes the words can be interpreted many ...
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1answer
2k views

vowels (unrounded or rounded)

i have a problem with vowels (which are rounded or unrounded vowels). Can you explain how to make a decide which is vowels? And which are tense or lax vowels? Maybe have some rules or instruction or ...
0
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1answer
62 views

help with the sounds of words [closed]

when we concentrate on articulars sounds we don't think about how people listening to those sounds. How to decide are rounded or unrounded vowels and which are tense or lax vowels? and what clues are ...
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0answers
937 views

Does pre-fortis clipping only operate within a syllable? If not, what is its actual scope?

English is known to have a phenomenon of "pre-fortis clipping": in certain contexts, vowel and sonorant phonemes before a fortis/voiceless consonant are realized with shorter duration than the same ...
4
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1answer
271 views

How to measure auditory distances between vowels

(Followup to this question, also related to this answer.) The Handbook of the International Phonetic Association (1999: 11–2) defines the values of cardinal vowels as follows: [T]wo fully front ...
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1answer
208 views

Why were the formants of high and back vowels difficult to obtain? And why not anymore?

I was reading the second chapter of Three Areas of Experimental Phonetics by Peter Ladefoged (1967), in which he summarizes the studies he conducted in the 1950s and 1960s which demonstrated practical ...
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1answer
201 views

How Thai Vowels Work

I am trying to put together a worksheet to understand how the Thai script works. I am looking here and here. The wiki page seems to suggest that there are two types of symbols: combining characters ...
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1answer
1k views

How Hebrew Vowels Work [closed]

I am trying to find a document that clearly explains how to apply Hebrew vowels (and what all the combining characters are for Hebrew vowels), but I haven't been able to find anything after a few ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is vowel phonology represented in a trapezoid instead of a square?

Given that the internal area of the human mouth is approximately a square, why the vowels pronunciation chart is usually represented by a trapezoid?
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1answer
4k views

Which language has the most vowel phonemes?

Which language has the largest number of vowels with minimal pairs?
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1answer
236 views

The TRAP vowel: a or ä?

If my mouth is open and my tongue is completely relaxed, do I make an [a] or an [ä]? Which one is more common for the TRAP vowel in British English?
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1answer
505 views

The German vowel “a” changes to the English “i”

What is the name of a sound shift law under which the German vowel "a" changes to the English "i", e.g. Macht -> might; Nacht -> night
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1answer
120 views

Interpreting formant intensity

I was wondering whether there is any practical way to tell whether differences in formant intensity are due to different harmonics in the source or different formants in the filter. Is there any data ...
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1answer
152 views

Formants - beyond F2

I have read that for front vowels, the cavity behind the lips (I think this must correspond to the space between the lips and the hump of the tongue) is F3, whereas for back vowels it is F2. In that ...
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1answer
234 views

What is the maximum number of IPA diacritics that can be added on a vowel?

What would the symbol look like, and how would it sound like? E.g. a long rhotacized nasalized vowel with tone?
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3answers
261 views

Given both a word and the corresponding IPA, how to match/map the letters together?

Given both the word and the corresponding IPA equivalent, is there any stable algorithm for mapping the letter of each word to the IPA letter? For example, given close-quote and IPA kloʊzkwoʊt -- I'd ...