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CLASSIFICATION OF 
ENGLISH VOWELS
CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH 
VOWELS Vowel sounds are classified according 
to: the position of the tongue in the mouth, 
the...
1) THE POSITION OF THE TONGUE IN THE 
MOUTH 
Front vowels are the ones in the 
production of which the front part of the 
...
When the central part of the tongue maintains 
its highest position, the vowels thus produced 
are central vowels such as ...
2)THE OPENNESS OF THE MOUTH 
Close vowels: [i:] [i] [u:] and [u]; 
Semi-close vowels: [e] and [3;] 
Semi-open vowels: [...
3) THE SHAPE OF THE LIPS 
•Rounded vowels: All the back vowels in English 
are rounded except [ɑ:]. 
•Unrounded vowels: Al...
4) THE LENGTH OF VOWELS 
Long vowels: They are usually marked 
with a colon such as[i:] and [ɑ:] 
Short vowels: other vo...
GIVE THE FOLLOWING PHONETIC 
SYMBOLS: 
Voiced palatal affricate 
Voiceless labiodental 
fricative
Voiced alveolar stop 
Front close short 
Voiced bilabial stop
GIVE THE PHONETIC FEATURES OF EACH 
OF THE FOLLOWING SOUNDS 
[s] 
[z] 
[k]
Assimilation rules: 
Word-final alveolar become dental before 
dental fricatives; 
not thin 
ten thumps 
well thought
 Bilabial and alveolar nasals /m, n/ 
become labio-dental before labio-dental 
fricatives; 
ten forks 
come for me
 Word-final labio-dental fricatives may 
become bilabial before bilabial plosives; 
live bird 
v ß
 Word-final /l/ is non-velarised if 
followed by an initial vowel; 
fill it
 Word-final /t/ become bilabial before 
bilabial consonants /p, b,m/; 
that pen /..p pen/ 
that boy/..p b../ 
that man /....
 Word-final /d/ become voiced bilabial 
before bilabial consonants /p, b,m/; 
good pen /gub pen/
 Word-final /t,d/ become velar before 
velar plosives; 
that cup /..k k.. 
that girl /..k g../ 
good cup /gug k../
 Word-final /n/ becomes bilabial before 
bilabial consonants; 
ten pens 
ten boys 
ten men
 Word-final /n/ becomes velar 
before velar plosives/k, g/: 
Ten cups 
ten girls
 Word-final /s,z/ become palato-alveolar 
before palato-alveolar fricatives and the 
palatal frictionless continuant/; 
T...
 Word-final /t,d,s,z/ become palato-alveolar 
affricates (/t,d/) or 
fricatives(/s,z/) before /j/ and 
/j/disappears; 
Wo...
Word-final /d/ becomes a nasal before a 
nasal, at the place of articulation of the nasal; 
Word-final /v/ becomes a nas...
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GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF VOWELS

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THE VOWEL SOUNDS

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GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF VOWELS

  1. 1. CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH VOWELS
  2. 2. CLASSIFICATION OF ENGLISH VOWELS Vowel sounds are classified according to: the position of the tongue in the mouth, the openness of the mouth, the shape of the lips, and the length of the vowels.
  3. 3. 1) THE POSITION OF THE TONGUE IN THE MOUTH Front vowels are the ones in the production of which the front part of the tongue is raised the highest such as [i:] [i] [e] [æ] [a].
  4. 4. When the central part of the tongue maintains its highest position, the vowels thus produced are central vowels such as [3:] [Ə] and [L] . If the back of the tongue is held the highest, the vowels thus produced are back vowels such as [u:][u]
  5. 5. 2)THE OPENNESS OF THE MOUTH Close vowels: [i:] [i] [u:] and [u]; Semi-close vowels: [e] and [3;] Semi-open vowels: [ə] and [Չ:] Open vowels: [æ] [a] [L] [Չ ] and [a:].
  6. 6. 3) THE SHAPE OF THE LIPS •Rounded vowels: All the back vowels in English are rounded except [ɑ:]. •Unrounded vowels: All the front vowels and central vowels in English are unrounded.
  7. 7. 4) THE LENGTH OF VOWELS Long vowels: They are usually marked with a colon such as[i:] and [ɑ:] Short vowels: other vowels in English are short vowels such as [e],[ə] and [æ].
  8. 8. GIVE THE FOLLOWING PHONETIC SYMBOLS: Voiced palatal affricate Voiceless labiodental fricative
  9. 9. Voiced alveolar stop Front close short Voiced bilabial stop
  10. 10. GIVE THE PHONETIC FEATURES OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING SOUNDS [s] [z] [k]
  11. 11. Assimilation rules: Word-final alveolar become dental before dental fricatives; not thin ten thumps well thought
  12. 12.  Bilabial and alveolar nasals /m, n/ become labio-dental before labio-dental fricatives; ten forks come for me
  13. 13.  Word-final labio-dental fricatives may become bilabial before bilabial plosives; live bird v ß
  14. 14.  Word-final /l/ is non-velarised if followed by an initial vowel; fill it
  15. 15.  Word-final /t/ become bilabial before bilabial consonants /p, b,m/; that pen /..p pen/ that boy/..p b../ that man /..p m../
  16. 16.  Word-final /d/ become voiced bilabial before bilabial consonants /p, b,m/; good pen /gub pen/
  17. 17.  Word-final /t,d/ become velar before velar plosives; that cup /..k k.. that girl /..k g../ good cup /gug k../
  18. 18.  Word-final /n/ becomes bilabial before bilabial consonants; ten pens ten boys ten men
  19. 19.  Word-final /n/ becomes velar before velar plosives/k, g/: Ten cups ten girls
  20. 20.  Word-final /s,z/ become palato-alveolar before palato-alveolar fricatives and the palatal frictionless continuant/; This ship This year has she
  21. 21.  Word-final /t,d,s,z/ become palato-alveolar affricates (/t,d/) or fricatives(/s,z/) before /j/ and /j/disappears; Would you, What you want, As yet, In case you need it
  22. 22. Word-final /d/ becomes a nasal before a nasal, at the place of articulation of the nasal; Word-final /v/ becomes a nasal before a nasal; Word-final lenis fricatives become fortis before an initial fortis consonant;

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