Questions tagged [vowels]

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

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0
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2answers
32 views

Are there any diacritics not on the top or bottom of a letter?

I don't know of any besides the horn on Ơ and Ư and the middle tilde on ᵯ and some other consonants I'm interested in particular in a diacritic precomposed with both "I" and "U"
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1answer
82 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/ ...
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1answer
31 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
35 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
483 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 ...
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1answer
537 views

What were the Proto-Bantu -ATR vowels?

It seems to be widely accepted that Proto-Niger-Congo had ten vowels, with ATR harmony: /i-ɪ e-ɛ ə-a o-ɔ u-ʊ/. Similarly, it seems widely accepted that Proto-Bantu lost three of these vowels and ...
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1answer
61 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
142 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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6answers
48k 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 ...
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0answers
36 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 (...
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4answers
1k 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, ...
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1answer
85 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
56 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
946 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 ...
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3answers
160 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 ...
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1answer
160 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
121 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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2answers
423 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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5answers
12k 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 ...
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1answer
120 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
29 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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5answers
2k views

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 ...
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2answers
141 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
63 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
137 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
140 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 ...
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3answers
173 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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4answers
256 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
56 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
765 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 ...
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1answer
217 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
186 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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19answers
7k views

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?
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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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1answer
182 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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2answers
1k views

Are there any minimal pairs for German lax/tense vowels?

As we know, most German vowels have a 'tense' (or long) pronunciation and a 'lax' (or short) pronunciation. Most of the time, which pronunciation should be used can be determined by the context that ...
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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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2answers
954 views

Is there a rounded /æ/? Is there a Near-open front rounded vowel?

Okay, so I was just doing a bit of conlanging, and I was coming up with a verb ending /æɸ/. Because of the way I have begun this, /ɸ~ʍ/ are interchangeable. When I first tried saying /æʍ]/ I ...
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1answer
3k views

Which language has the most vowel phonemes?

Which language has the largest number of vowels with minimal pairs?
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1answer
191 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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4answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
464 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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3answers
591 views

What's up with the letter W?

English is an interesting and incestuous mangling of stuff. I sometimes think about W and it is a pretty interesting letter with much mystery and intrigue. In French, oui begins with a W sound, yet ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
21k 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
453 views

What phonological process changes е to ё in Russian?

I've been studying Russian for years now, but the one thing that I can't seem to wrap my mind around is why would the sound е je come to be pronounced like ё jo in certain circumstances? Obviously, ...
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1answer
44 views

Does Neary Vowel Normalization account for Vocal Tract Length? [closed]

Can't quite find this in the research I have done so far that surveys various vowel normalization methods...
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1answer
147 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 ...