Questions tagged [vowels]

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

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2
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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 ...
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1answer
104 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
407 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 ...
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1answer
187 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?
2
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2answers
194 views

If there is really an /ə/ between /dəɹ/ in “quandary”

In considering words with -er ending like "quandary" /ˈkwɑːn.dəɹɪ/, it seems like to me there is no difference between that IPA /ˈkwɑːn.dəɹɪ/ and /ˈkwɑːn.d.ɹɪ/, or "quand-ree". The [r] is like "rrrr" ...
2
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2answers
201 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 ...
4
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3answers
157 views

Why are vowels said to be segments produced with no obstruction whatsoever?

It's clear that in the production of many vowels air isn't free to go to every available space in the oral cavity once it leaves the pharynx. Our tongue even touches the molars in [i]. That's just an ...
6
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2answers
195 views

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 ...
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2answers
414 views

Why hebrew אמא pronounciation vary from the logic of אבא pronouciation?

Why does the pronunciation of 'ABA' ( אבא ) is straightforward, while the pronunciation of 'IMA' ( אמא ) is not ? Shouldn't it be pronunciated 'AMA' instead of 'IMA' ?
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1answer
139 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 ...
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1answer
64 views

Why have we come up with symbols for secondary articulation?

I've just noted that [tja] and [tʲa] sound exactly the same. It seems that [ʲ] would only be relevant in classrooms when having isolated pronunciations such as [tʲ], [kʲ], [dʲ] due to the fact we don'...
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3answers
506 views

Are There Any Monophthong [o] Words in English?

Whenever I look up a transcription for a word containing [o], it's either an [oɪ] diphthong or an [oʊ] diphthong. Is it not possible to pronounce [o] without gliding through [ʊ] too? Is it possible, ...
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2answers
975 views

The breakdown of the word “strength” or “cheap” or “sheep”

So it turns out that sometimes consonants in a sequence can be called single consonants (e.g. d͡z), or consonant "clusters". But the main reason for calling d͡z a single consonant is because it "...
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3answers
1k views

Is a vowel only writing system possible?

An abjad is a writing system in which only consonants are normally written, is the opposite possible? I've recently discovered that English actually has far more vowel-sounds than we have vowel ...
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3answers
7k views

How can the IPA vowels be memorized?

Memorizing IPA consonants is trivially easy; each symbol represents one sound, and that sound can be described with a variety of parameters about manner of articulation, etc. The IPA vowels, however, ...
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2answers
792 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 ...
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1answer
94 views

Audio library for all IPA vowels and consonants

Wikipedia has a pretty good intro to the IPA sounds, even some of the "click" sounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel_chart_with_audio https://en....
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1answer
86 views

Why long vowels are considered vowels and not 2 vowels

Wondering why long vowels are not treated as simply two letters, for example. So eː becomes ee.
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1answer
222 views

What exactly is the Japanese 'u' sound?

I've mostly heard that its a ɯ sound. But I've also heard that its an 'endo-labial close back rounded vowel'. By 'endo-labial', I mean that its a rounded vowel that's pronounced without protruding the ...
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0answers
88 views

How many different vowels can be reliable annotated?

This question is similar to How many different vowels are there? but with a different twist: here I am not interested in the minimal difference between two vowels that can be heard, but in reliable ...
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1answer
208 views

Is there a universal basis for consonants vs vowels?

Is this unique to certain families of language or all verbal human language?
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2answers
332 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 ...
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5answers
2k views

Vowel harmony in Spanish?

Some irregular Spanish verbs with infinite in "-ir" seem to have an interesting pattern in their conjugation: For some verbs with "o" as last vowel in the infinite stem (e.g. dormir, morir), the form ...
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3answers
235 views

sonority hierarchy within vowel backness

Regarding the horizontal axis, and within the same high, I'd like to know whether back vowels (e.g. /ɤ/) are more sonorous than front ones (e.g. /e/).
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1answer
211 views

Why do most Austronesian and Polynesian languages have low consonant vowel ratio?

Refer: WALS feature 3A A simple Google search yielded - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5529419/ which could be one of the reasons. But can anyone come up with some other reasons maybe ...
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2answers
72 views

Can a single vowel (or consonant) be pronounced in multiple ways (different place/manner of articulation)

I recall from my undergrad Phonetics course (many years ago), the professor was talking about the limitations of describing phonemes by place and manner of articulation. I seem to remember an example ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
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1answer
111 views

Has the letter ⟨u⟩ in english ever historically represented the phonemes /y/ or /ʏ/?

English's spelling was changed after sometime and became more like French in some areas, such as the digraph ⟨ou⟩ to represent /u/, after ⟨u⟩ came to represent /ʊ~ʌ/. The reason I ask this, however, ...
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1answer
128 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 ...
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1answer
512 views

cut middle portion of the vowel using praat script

I have several speech files. In each file a vowel is annotated. I want to cut the half portion of this vowel and save it in another file. In order to do this, I am cutting the vowel in 4 parts. Then I ...
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3answers
361 views

Why are languages with average vowel inventory size scattered?

Is it true that languages with average vowel inventory size (5-6 Vs) are most widely scattered? How can this be explained?
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
141 views

Tone associated to segments other than vowels

Are there languages in which lexical tone can associate to semivowels or glottal stops, or does tone ALWAYS associate only to vowels when it is realized in a spoken word?
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3answers
3k views

Is it possible for a word-initial vowel to not have a glottal stop before it?

I am not understanding how a word can begin with a glottal stop? Is it a glottal plosive? I guess I am trying not to outright ask why is it not called a glottal plosive. When I say some words that ...
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1answer
110 views

Most Distinguishable Monophthongs/Vowels?

I was listening to the 8 Primary Cardinal Vowels and 10 Secondary Cardinal Vowels. I found the Front Vowels easier to distinguish than the Back Vowels. If I were to pick the 8 most distinguishable ...
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0answers
38 views

Can regional variations of a language cause the formant space to be reduced?

I'm doing research on speech, but I'm not a linguist. Hopefully it won't be a silly question. I have been reading a little on regional variations of formants, because in my research we use formant ...
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50 views

How much of a difference does vowel mergers make to perception of fluency?

Listening to some example French conversations between an experienced, fluent speaker and an inexperienced learner, I noticed by chance that the experienced speaker differentiates between similar ...
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0answers
84 views

Why Do Singers Prefer Back Vowel Non-Lexical Vocables?

Singers more often sing "oohs" than they do "eehs". Why is that? It's exemplified in this article: https://qz.com/767812/millennial-whoop/ . I've listened to a fair amount of 50's, 60's, and 70's ...
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122 views

Why is it believed the West Germanic /i/ became /aɪ/ in some cases?

I am no study of linguistics, it is an hobby, so certainly nothing I know about in depth, but this one I do find puzzling. I understand that sometimes sounds change, this happens in English today due ...
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0answers
162 views

Was Latin A Nasalized Language?

Thinking about it, most of the Romance languages I have heard nasalize vowels quite frequently and it seems consistent: that has me wondering, is there any evidence to show that Latin was a heavily-...
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3answers
577 views

Does regular vowel dissimilation/disharmony exist?

Vowel harmony and Umlaut are widely attested, whereby vowels are affected by other vowels in the sense of making them closer in features to other vowels in the same word. Is there a comparable ...
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1answer
461 views

Gulf Arabic vowels allophones

No matter how much I browse, I cannot find any true researcher's really precise and accurate data on the issue. Actually, I cannot find any Gulf Arabic Phonology compendium, so any help will be ...
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2answers
832 views

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 ...
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0answers
74 views

The Word for 'Ball' Pre-Colonisation

What I've found is that word-final /a/ in native Malay words and words up to the time of the Portuguese invasion (16-17th century) undergo reduction, e.g.: /a/ → [ə] / __# Mata (eye) - [matə] Kura-...
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1answer
186 views

Text-to-speech for arbitrary vowels (i.e not just ipa)

So my understanding is vowel sounds can be modelled in a 2-d space together with roundedness in terms of location and openness or equivalently in terms of first and second formants. You get pictures ...
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3answers
2k views

Are there any languages with only front vowels?

I'm curious why every language I've heard of has back or central vowels. Are there any languages that exclusively uses front vowels (say the phonemes /a/, /e/, /i/, /y/)? I want to know this more or ...
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2answers
684 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 ...
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75 views

Praat: Sound analysis

In Praat after converting stereo sound to mono, the intensity reduced to (-ve) so no sound is produced although the original stereo sound has a max intensity 70 dB !
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1answer
676 views

Confused about vowel diagram (Vowel chart)—Can you clarify and explain how to read it?

Ok, here is the English vowel chart: I'm really confused, what do "front" "central", "back", "close(high)", "close-mid", "open-mid", "open (low)" mean? Ok, Here is what I understood, please correct ...
4
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1answer
111 views

Term for consonant elision

What's the name for the elision of a consonant between two vowels? Syncope is usually used for vowel elision (resulting in consonant clusters) but what about consonant elision? I couldn't find any ...