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Questions tagged [vowels]

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

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6 votes
2 answers
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Dataset/Database similar to WALS in Vowel/Phonology

I am wondering if there is any database similar to The World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS)(https://wals.info/). In the case that it is specifically more geared towards phonological aspects of ...
ERSA's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the phonetic and phonemic destinction between a semivowel and a vowel?

I have read several articles that claim that phonemically, /j/ and /i/ are the same and distinguished from each other by being syllabic or not. What confuses me is that I can hear the difference ...
N.D.H.'s user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why vowels sound different from each other

This might be a basic question but I am confused about how mouth shapes for vowels, at a deeper level, are producing different sounds. Wanted to see if one could demonstrate with another instrument ...
Lance's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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Are sound changes regular?

Are sound changes regular now or not? I mean it seems to me that it's accepted that sound change is pretty regular, because of how sound changes are treated in etymology/historical linguistics. I even ...
Arhama's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can a vowel be a consonant?

So, I know there are certain consonants in the IPA that have vowel-like properties, and can therefor be used as vowels, such as [n], [m], and [l]. Examples include [pnt], or [ʒlf]. So, in the loosest ...
Olive's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
Lokasa Mawati's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

Are there languages with more vowels than consonants?

Almost all languages of the world have more consonants than vowels. Are there some languages of the world with more vowel phonemes than consonants?
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
58k 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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14 votes
19 answers
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Which languages have words containing the same letter three times in a row?

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?
Faraz Masroor's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
23k 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 ...
AnasUrba's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Sjiveru's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
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Why in English words is [o] followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is usually diphthongized to [oʊ] or [əʊ] in North America and respectively, Britain. Examples: row, also. In fact, in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I ...
Bogdan Lataianu's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where can I find a vowel analyzer app or program?

I'm looking for a smartphone app or computer program that will listen to me pronouncing a vowel and will tell me where exactly the vowel is located in the IPA vowel chart. Does anyone know of apps or ...
joaqo's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
iddober's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
459 views

How many different vowels are there?

There are generally accepted estimates on how many shades of grey (far less than 50!) or how many colours the human eye can distinguish. How many different vowels can the human ear distinguish? To ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
761 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 ...
Ryan David Ward's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why r, h, and w aren't vowels

The r sound I can create (a) without moving my tongue (after it is put into place), and (b), without closing the mouth cavity entirely. Like rrrr.... To me then it seems like a vowel. For h, it is ...
Lance's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between [j w] and [i̯ u̯]?

The symbols [i̯] and [u̯] always confused me, like what makes them different from [j] and [w]?
LinguisticsFanatic's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
310 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 ...
Nardog's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
462 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 ...
Nardog's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
599 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 ...
Carinus's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
543 views

Is Daniel Jones' cardinal vowel system auditorily or articulatorily based?

Two of my textbooks said it was the former, while one pointed it was both. No further details about the truthfulness of these affirmatives were given. I personally think is auditorily and ...
Duarte Alfonso Martin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
221 views

Why is the second formant plotted as F2-F1 in vowel space plots?

In a speech and audio processing class the lecturer pointed out that the vowel space is indicated by F1 plotted against F2-F1. I have searched online, and most sources I've found (including this ...
Karol's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

When plotting vowel space, why does using F2-F1 better resemble the idealized vowel chart than using F1?

When plotting the chart of the acoustic space of AmE vowels, we can represent F1 values on the y-axis and F2 values on the x-axis, like a chart on the page Formant Frequencies. Alternatively, we can ...
chaoh's user avatar
  • 99
2 votes
3 answers
5k views

Anunasika(Chandrabindu) in Vowels (Sanskrit)

Someone said Anunasika is like trying to say something entirely in nasal voice. So let’s say I want to pronounce a vowel ‘U’kara with Chandrabindu on top of it. I know it’s should be completely a ...
Laxxxmi's user avatar
  • 27
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Is ʕ̞ equivalent to the semivowel articulation of ɑ?

Wikipedia claims that Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996) p. 323 states that ʕ̞ is equivalent to the semivowel articulation of ɑ. Is this true? If so, why? If not, what is the false premise behind this ...
Quinali Solaji's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
217 views

Are Lana's "Yup!"s triphthongs?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
Claudiu's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
1 answer
271 views

How to annotate the difference between blended vowels and non-blended vowels

Similar to this question about consonants, I'm wondering how you annotate with IPA (or any other system if IPA doesn't support it) the difference between blending vowels together (morphing between ...
Lance's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
952 views

Swahili stress with two vowels in a row, how does it work?

I'm uncertain how stress works with two vowels in a row, so I used a regex to grab some words out of a small learner's-dictionary, and then make the two possible stress-patterns after each entry, ...
Owen_AR's user avatar
  • 203
-1 votes
1 answer
587 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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