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Vowels beside dots are: unrounded • rounded
A front vowel is a class of vowel sounds used in some spoken languages, its defining characteristic being that the highest point of the tongue is positioned relatively in front in the mouth without creating a constriction that would make it a consonant. Front vowels are sometimes also called bright vowels because they are perceived as sounding brighter than the back vowels.
Near-front vowels are essentially a type of front vowel; no language is known to contrast front and near-front vowels based on backness alone.
Rounded front vowels are typically centralized, that is, near-front in their articulation. This is one reason they are written to the right of unrounded front vowels in the IPA vowel chart.
The front vowels that have dedicated symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:
There also are front vowels without dedicated symbols in the IPA:
As above, other front vowels can be indicated with diacritics of relative articulation applied to letters for neighboring vowels, such as ⟨i̞⟩, ⟨e̝⟩ or ⟨ɪ̟⟩ for a near-close front unrounded vowel.
In articulation, fronted vowels, where the tongue moves forward from its resting position, contrast with raised vowels and retracted vowels. In this conception, fronted vowels are a broader category than those listed in the IPA chart, including [ɪ ʏ], [ɨ ʉ], and, marginally, mid-central vowels. Within the fronted vowels, vowel height (open or close) is determined by the position of the jaw, not by the tongue directly. Phonemic raised and retracted vowels may be phonetically fronted by certain consonants, such as palatals and in some languages pharyngeals. For example, /a/ may be fronted to [æ] next to /j/ or /ħ/.
In the history of many languages, for example French and Japanese, front vowels have altered preceding velar or alveolar consonants, bringing their place of articulation towards palatal or postalveolar. This change can be allophonic variation, or it can have become phonemic.
This historical palatalization is reflected in the orthographies of several European languages, including the ⟨c⟩ and ⟨g⟩ of almost all Romance languages, the ⟨k⟩ and ⟨g⟩ in Norwegian, Swedish, Faroese and Icelandic, and the ⟨κ⟩, ⟨γ⟩ and ⟨χ⟩ in Greek. English follows the French pattern, but without as much regularity. However, for native or early borrowed words affected by palatalization, English has generally altered the spelling after the pronunciation (Examples include cheap, church, cheese, churn from /*k/, and yell, yarn, yearn, yeast from /*ɡ/.)
|Before back vowel: hard||Before front vowel: soft|
|English ⟨C⟩||call / /||cell / /|
|English ⟨G⟩||gall / /||gel / /|
|French ⟨C⟩||Calais [kalɛ] ( listen )||cela [səla] ( listen )|
|French ⟨G⟩||gare [ɡaʁ] ( listen )||gel [ʒɛl] ( listen )|
|Greek ⟨Γ⟩||γάιδαρος [ˈɣai̯ðaros] ( listen )||γη [ʝi] ( listen )|
|Greek ⟨Χ⟩||Χανιά [xaˈɲa] ( listen )||χαίρετε [ˈçerete] ( listen )|
|Italian ⟨C⟩||caro [ˈkaːro] ( listen )||città [tʃitˈta] ( listen )|
|Italian ⟨G⟩||gatto [ˈɡatto] ( listen )||gente [ˈdʒɛnte] ( listen )|
|Italian ⟨SC⟩||scusa [ˈskuːza] ( listen )||pesce [ˈpeʃʃe] ( listen )|
|Japanese ⟨S⟩||sūdoku [sɯꜜːdokɯ] ( listen )||shiitake [ɕiꜜːtake] ( listen )|
|Japanese ⟨T⟩||atatakai [atatakaꜜi] ( listen )||dotchi [dotꜜtɕi] ( listen )|
|Swedish ⟨K⟩||karta [ˈkɑ̂ːʈa] ( listen )||kär [ɕæːr] ( listen )|
|Swedish ⟨G⟩||god [ɡuːd] ( listen )||göra [ˈjœ̂ːra] ( listen )|
|Swedish ⟨SK⟩||skal [skɑːl] ( listen )||skälla [ˈɧɛ̂lːa] ( listen )|
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of speech sounds in written form. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech–language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators and translators.
A vowel is a syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, the other being the consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and also in quantity (length). They are usually voiced and are closely involved in prosodic variation such as tone, intonation and stress.
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth.
In phonetics, palatalization or palatization refers to a way of pronouncing a consonant in which part of the tongue is moved close to the hard palate. Consonants pronounced this way are said to be palatalized and are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by affixing the letter ⟨ʲ⟩ to the base consonant. Palatalization cannot minimally distinguish words in most dialects of English, but it may do so in languages such as Russian, Mandarin and Irish.
The voiced labialized palatalapproximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. It has two constrictions in the vocal tract: with the tongue on the palate, and rounded at the lips. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɥ⟩, a rotated lowercase letter ⟨h⟩, or occasionally ⟨jʷ⟩, since it is a labialized.
A close vowel, also known as a high vowel, is any in a class of vowel sounds used in many spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth as it can be without creating a constriction. A constriction would produce a sound that would be classified as a consonant.
A near-close vowel or a near-high vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-close vowel is that the tongue is positioned similarly to a close vowel, but slightly less constricted.
A mid vowel is any in a class of vowel sounds used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned midway between an open vowel and a close vowel.
An open vowel is a vowel sound in which the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth. Open vowels are sometimes also called low vowels in reference to the low position of the tongue.
A back vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the highest point of the tongue is positioned relatively back in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Back vowels are sometimes also called dark vowels because they are perceived as sounding darker than the front vowels.
The open-mid front rounded vowel, or low-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨œ⟩. The symbol œ is a lowercase ligature of the letters o and e. The sound ⟨ɶ⟩, a small capital version of the ⟨Œ⟩ ligature, is used for a distinct vowel sound: the open front rounded vowel.
The near-close front rounded vowel, or near-high front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages.
In phonetics, vowel roundedness refers to the amount of rounding in the lips during the articulation of a vowel. It is labialization of a vowel. When a rounded vowel is pronounced, the lips form a circular opening, and unrounded vowels are pronounced with the lips relaxed. In most languages, front vowels tend to be unrounded, and back vowels tend to be rounded. However, some languages, such as French, German and Icelandic, distinguish rounded and unrounded front vowels of the same height, and Vietnamese distinguishes rounded and unrounded back vowels of the same height. Alekano has only unrounded vowels. In the International Phonetic Alphabet vowel chart, rounded vowels are the ones that appear on the right in each pair of vowels. There are also diacritics, U+0339 ̹COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING BELOW and U+031C ̜COMBINING LEFT HALF RING BELOW, to indicate greater and lesser degrees of rounding, respectively. Thus has less rounding than cardinal, and has more. These diacritics can also be used with unrounded vowels: is more spread than cardinal, and is less spread than cardinal.
The phonological system of the Polish language is similar in many ways to those of other Slavic languages, although there are some characteristic features found in only a few other languages of the family, such as contrasting retroflex and palatal fricatives and affricates, and nasal vowels. The vowel system is relatively simple, with just six oral monophthongs and two nasals, while the consonant system is much more complex.
The Romic Alphabet, sometimes known as the Romic Reform, is a phonetic alphabet proposed by Henry Sweet. It descends from Ellis's Palaeotype alphabet and English Phonotypic Alphabet, and is the direct ancestor of the International Phonetic Alphabet. In Romic every sound had a dedicated symbol, and every symbol represented a single sound. There were no capital letters; there were letters derived from small capitals, though these were distinct letters.
In phonetics and phonology, relative articulation is description of the manner and place of articulation of a speech sound relative to some reference point. Typically, the comparison is made with a default, unmarked articulation of the same phoneme in a neutral sound environment. For example, the English velar consonant is fronted before the vowel compared to articulation of before other vowels. This fronting is called palatalization.
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The mid front rounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages.
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