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Phonetics

Vowels in the English Language

Vowels are speech sounds  pronounced so there are no “obstacles” to airstream (unlike the way consonants are pronounced, for example). This post lists English vowels (21 in this case, although some sources list 22), both monophthongs and diphthongs. They are grouped into the long and short ones. There is also a vowel diagram showing vowels at […]

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Phonetics

Some Definitions of Vowel Sounds

Vowels are speech sounds (1) during whose production “the tongue is held at such a distance from the roof of the mouth that there is no perceptible frictional noise” and “a resonance chamber is formed which modifies the quality of tone” (Jones, Pronunciation 12). Gimson defines vowels (2) as a “category of sounds … normally […]

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Phonetics

Physics of Speech

Once set in a vibratory motion, the vocal folds create a series of movement within the vocal tract above the larynx (the rate at which vocal folds vibrate is recognized as the fundamental frequency of sound). An object will increase the vibrations [2] that are close to its own natural frequencies.  In speech, some frequencies are dampened, […]