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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The vowels of English


The vowels of English
Q: - 1 Draw a vowel chart. Explain each part of it and mark the position of all pure vowels.










¬  Definition of Vowels:-
Þ          During the articulation of vowel sounds the lung air escape through the mouth without ant friction. There is no obstruction in the mouth. There is a stricture of open approximation. Such sounds are vowels.

¬  Pure Vowels:-
Þ    Vowels that do not change their quality are called pure vowel or monopthongs. There are four fount vowels, five back vowels and three central vowels.

¬  Front Vowels:-
Þ    Four of the pure vowels of English are front vowels and their tongue positions are indicated in the vowel diagram given below.


/i:/ as in beat
/i/ as in bit
/e/ as in bet
/æ/ as in bat.

¬  /i:/ as in beat - e – bead:-  
Þ          During the articulation of this vowel, the front of the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate to the position almost near close. The tongue is tense and lips are spread. It can be described as a front close unrounded vowel. It can occur –
¬  Initially – eat
¬  Medially – beat
¬  Finally – bee
Þ          /i:/ is longer when it occurs finally in a word and before voiced /i/ consonants than it is before voiceless consonants. This the /i:/ in bee and beat is longer than /i: in beat.

¬  /i/ as in beat - E – bid:-
Þ          During the articulation of this vowel, the front of the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate, just above the half close position . The tongue is comparatively lax. The lips are loosely spread. It can be described as centralized front  unrounded vowel just above the half close. It can occur –
¬  Initially – It
¬  Medially – bit
¬  Finally – city
Þ          /i/ is of slightly reduced length when followed by voiceless consonants. Thus  /i/ in bid is longer than /i/ in bit.

¬  /e/ as in beat – a[ - bead:-
Þ          During the articulation of this vowel, the front of the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate to a height between half close and half open. The tongue is more tense than it is during the articulation of /i/ and lips are loosely spread. /e/(it) can be described as a front unrounded vowel between half- half close and half open. It can occur –
¬  Initially – as in only and
¬  Medially – as in bed
¬  It does not occur finally in a word.
Þ          /e/ is slightly longer when followed by voiced consonants than it is followed by  voiceless consonants. Thus  /e/ in bed is longer than it is in bet.

¬  /æ/ as in beat - e – bead:-
Þ          During the articulation of this vowel, the front of the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate just below the half open position. The lips are neutrally open. It can be described as a front unrounded vowel just below the half open position. It can occur –
¬  Initially – as in axe
¬  Medially – as in bat
¬  Finally – bee
Þ          It does not occur finally in a word.
Þ          /æ/ occurs initially as in axe and also reduced in length when by voiceless consonants. Thus /æ/ in bad and mad is longer than it is in ‘bat’ and ‘mat’.

¬  Back Vowels:-
Þ          Five of the twelve pure vowels of English are
 back vowels and their tongue positions are indicated
 in the vowel diagram given below.
¬  /a:/ as in bard
¬  // as in cot
¬  /:/ as in caught
¬  /u/ as in foot
¬  /u:/ as in food

¬  /a:/ as in bard – ai:-  
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, a part of the tongue that is between the centre and the back (near the back than the centre) is in fully open position. The jaws are wide and lips are neutrally open. It is thus a back open unrounded vowel. It can occur –
¬  Initially –  as in art
¬  Medially – as in part
¬  Finally – as in car
Þ          /a: / is longer when it occurs finally in a word and before voiced consonants than /a:/  it is before voiceless consonants. Thus the /a:/ in ‘car’ and ‘card’ and ‘hard’  is longer than it is in ‘cart’ and ‘heart’.


¬  // as in cot  – ai:-[
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, the back of the tongue is just above the fully open position. The jaws are wide and lips are slightly open. It is thus a back rounded vowel just above the open position. It can occur –
¬  Initially –  as in ox
¬  Medially – as in box
¬  It does not occur finally in a word.
Þ          // in ‘code’ is slight longer being followed by voiced consonants thus it is in ‘cat’ being followed a voiceless consonants.

¬  /:/ as in caught   – ai[:-
Þ          During the articulation of this relatively long vowel, the back of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate between the half open and half close position The lips are rounded. It is thus a back rounded vowel between half- open and half close. It can occur –
¬  Initially – as in ought
¬  Medially – as in bought
¬  Finally – as in law
Þ          /:/ is longer in words like ‘core’, ‘cord’, and ‘board’ than it is in words like ‘caught’ & ‘thought”.

¬  /U/ as in foot  –u:-
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, the back of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate to a height just above half close. The tongue is lax. The lips are rounded. It is thus a back rounded vowel just above the half close. It does not occur initially in a word. It can occur – Medially – as in put and sugar.  In the word final position, it occurs only in the unaccented form of the preposition.

¬  /U:/ as in food  –u:-
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, the back of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate to a height very near the close position. The tongue is tense. The lips are closely rounded. It is thus a back close rounded vowel. It can occur –
¬  Initially – as in ooze
¬  Medially – as in boot
¬  Finally – as in two
Þ          /u:/ like all other vowels is long before voiced consonants and when we final than before voiceless consonants. The /u; in ‘shoe’ and ‘rude’ is long than the /u:/ in ‘shoot’ and ‘root’.




¬  Central Vowels:-
¬  /^/ as in bud – a
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, the centre of the tongue is raised in the direction of that part of the roof of the mouth  that is between the hard and soft palate to a height just above the open position. The jaws are wide and lips are neutrally open. It is thus described as a central unrounded vowel just above open . It can occur –
¬  Initially –  as in up
¬  Medially – as in cup
Þ          It does not occur word finally. /^/ is slightly before voiced consonants than before voiceless consonants

¬  /:/ as in bird  – a:-
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, ,the centre of the tongue is raised in the direction of that part of the roof of the mouth  that is between the hard and soft palate to a height between half close and half open. The lips are spread. It is thus a centre unrounded vowel between half close and half open. It can occur –
¬  Initially –  as in earn
¬  Medially – as in learn
¬  Finally – as in err
Þ          /:/ in ‘heard’ being followed by voiced consonants is longer than it is in hurt.

¬  // as in about a:-
Þ          During the articulation of this long vowel, ,the centre of the tongue is raised in the direction of that part of the roof of the mouth  that is between the hard and soft palate to a height just below the half open position. The lips are spread. It is thus a centre unrounded vowel just below the half open position. It can occur –
¬  Initially – as in about
¬  Medially – as in forget
¬  Finally – as in tailor
Þ          /:/ also occurs commonly in the weak forms of many word. Such as a, an, the, to, her, for, etc. it in R.P. does not occur in accented syllable.

Q: - 1 what are pure vowels, cardinal vowels and dipthongs. Draw a vowel chart to show the movement of the mouth parts. Write also a description for each of the dipthongs.
(1) Pure Vowels:-
Þ    The vowels that do not change their quality are called pure vowels or monopthongs. The vowels suggested above in the chart are pure vowels.

(2)Cardinal Vowels:-
Þ    The vowels articulated with Eight at tongue position which is shown in the chart are called cardinal vowels. They are:- /i:/, /i/,  /æ/,  //, //, /:/, /u/, and /u:/.
1)      Front Close Vowel – unrounded – symbol - /i:/
2)      Front half-Close Vowel – unrounded – symbol - /i/
3)      Front half- open Vowel – unrounded – symbol - /e:/
4)      Front Open Vowel – unrounded – symbol - /æ:/
5)      Back Open Vowel – unrounded – symbol - /:/
6)      Back half open Vowel – rounded – symbol - /:/
7)      Back  half-Close Vowel – rounded – symbol - /u/
8)      Back Close Vowel – rounded – symbol - /u:/

Þ    Dipthongs:-
Þ          The vowel at the end does not sound the same as the vowel at the beginning. Such vowels of changing quality are called dipthongs. A dipthongs may be described as vowel glide. There are 8 dipthongs. They are:
1)      /ei/
2)      /ai/             gliding towards /i/
3)      /i/
4)      /u/
5)      /au/                        gliding towards /u/
6)      /i/
7)      /e/            gliding towards //
8)      /u/

(1) /ei/- a[e:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the front of the tongue starts from a point just below the half close position and moves in the direction of R.P. /i/ The lips are spread. This diphthongs may therefore be described as a glide from (a front unrounded vowel just below half close) /e/ to (a centralized front unrounded vowel just above half-close) /i/.
Þ          It can occur initially, medially and finally e.g. aim, pain, a play.
Þ          As in the case of the pure vowels the length of the diphthongs varies considerably depending upon the environments in which they occur. Diphthongs are also considerably longer when word final and when followed by voiced consonants than they are when a diphthong is long. It is the first element that is lengthened. The second element of the diphthongs is very short. Such dipthongs are called Falling diphthongs.  /i/ and /u/ are exception. Thus the diphthong /ei/ in ‘play and ‘play’ is longer than it is in ‘place’.

(2) /ai/- aie
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide starts from a point slightly behind the front open position and moves in the direction of R.P. /i/, the lips are neutral at the beginning and become loosely spread towards the end. The jaw is wide open to begin with and narrows during the articulation of the second element. This diphthong can thus be described as a glide from a front open unrounded vowel to a centralized front unrounded vowel just above half-close.
Þ          /ai/ can occur initially, medially and finally as in ‘ice’, ‘bite’ and ‘buy’ respectively.
Þ          /ai/ is longer in words like ‘buy’ and ‘bide’ than in ‘bite’.

(3) /i/- aie:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide starts from a point between back open and half-open position and moves in the direction of R.P. /i/, the lips are rounded at the beginning and become loosely spread towards the end. The jaw is wide open to begin with and narrows during the articulation of the second element. This diphthong can thus be described as a glide from a back open rounded vowel between open and half open to a centralized front unrounded vowel just above half-close position.
Þ          /ai/ can occur initially, medially and finally as in ‘oil’, ‘boil’ and ‘boy’ respectively.
Þ          /ai/ is longer in words like ‘boy’ and ‘coin’ than in ‘voice’.

(4) /au/- aiu:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide begins at a back open unrounded position and moves in the direction of R.P. /u/, the lips are neutral at the beginning and rounded towards the end.
Þ          /au/ can occur initially, medially and finally as in ‘out’, ‘bout’ and ‘cow’ respectively.
Þ          Like the other pure vowels and diphthongs /au/ is longer when word finally and followed by a voiced consonants (as in ‘how’ and ‘loud’) than when followed by a voiceless consonant (as in ‘mouse’ and ‘mouth’).

(5) /u/- au:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide begins at a central position between half-close and half-open and moves in the direction of R.P. /u/, the lips are neutral at the beginning and rounded towards the end.
Þ          /u/ can occur initially, medially and finally as in ‘over’, ‘boat’ and ‘go’ respectively.
Þ          /u/ is longer in ‘no’ and ‘node’) than it is  in ‘note’ and ‘goat’).

Þ    Diphthongs Gliding towards //:-
(1). /i/ - ea:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide begins with a tongue position similar to that of R.P. /i/ and moves in the direction of R.P. non final //. Non final /i/ is thus a glide from a centralized front unrounded vowel just above half –close to a central unrounded vowel between half-close and half-open.
Þ          /i/ can occur initially, medially and finally as in ‘ear ring’, ‘fierce’ and ‘fear’ respectively.
Þ          /i/ is longer in ‘fear’ than it is words like ‘fierce’.
Þ          Rising Diphthong:- The first element /i/ is weaker. The second // is stronger. Such diphthong is called as rising diphthongs.

(2). /u/ - ua:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide begins in the front half open position and moves in the direction of R.P. non final //. The lips are rounded in the beginning and spread towards the end. so this is a glide from a centralized back rounded vowel just above half –close to a central unrounded vowel between half-close and half-open.
Þ          /u/ can occur  medially and finally as in ‘during, ‘cure’  respectively. It does not occur initially in a word.


(2). /E/ - a[a:-
Þ          During the articulation of this diphthong, the glide begins in the front half open position and moves in the direction of R.P. non final //. If the diphthong is final, the lips are neutral throughout. /E/ is thus a glide from a front half-open unrounded vowel to a central unrounded vowel between half close and half open if the diphthong is non final. If it is final, the second element is a central unrounded vowel just below the half open position.
Þ          /u/ can occur initially, medially and finally in a word, as in ‘aero plane, ‘careful’  and ‘care’  respectively. It is longer in words like ‘care’ and ‘scare’ than it is in words like ‘scarce’.

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