A sound segment distinction by which two morphemes or words differ in pronunciation.
Minimal constrasts are basic to the discovery of phonemes in a language.
Ex. A linguist knows that p and b are distinct phonemes in English because of their roles in contrasting pairs like pay–bay and cup–cub.
Ex. For English vowels, the pair "let" + "lit" can be used to demonstrate that the phones [ɛ] (in let) and [ɪ] (in lit) do in fact represent distinct phonemes /ɛ/ and /ɪ/.
The first position or segment in a word.
Ex. The b in the word bat is an initial consonant.
A middle position or segment in a word (i.e., not the initial or final).
Medial sounds occur somewhere within a word or syllable, not at the beginning or end of it.
Ex. The b is medial in the words rubber, rebut, and toothbrush.
The final position or segment in a word.
Ex. The t in the word bat is a final consonant.
Another name for syllable-initial sounds; they release (begin) the syllable.
Ex. The t sound in the word turn is syllable-initial.
Another name for syllable-final sounds; they arrest (stop) the syllable.
A syllable that does not end in a consonant.
A syllable that is a vowel.
A syllable that ends in a consonant.
Not a syllable that is a vowel.
A unit of spoken language that in its most general form is comprised of a syllabe nucleus (typically a vowel but occasionally a consonant) with optional initial and final margins (typically consonants).
The general form of a syllable:
[initial margin] + [nucleus] + [final margin]
Both the initial (onset) and final (coda) margins have 3 main possibilities: null (no consonant), a single consonant, or a sequence consonant, or a sequence of consonants (consonant cluster).
The beginning of a syllable; it may take the form of no consonant (null), one consonant, or a cluster of two or more consonants.
An arresting consonant.
The final margin of a syllable, consisting of one or more consonants.
ANATOMY OF ARTICULATORS
Or long vowel.
A vowel that is relatively long in duration and is assumed to be produced with a relatively tense or active musculature of the vocal tract.
Ex. The /i/ in heat is tense.
Ex. The /u/ in Luke is tense.
A vowel that is relatively short in duration and is assumed to be produced with a relatively relaxed vocal tract musculature.
Ex. The /ɪ/ in hit is lax.
Ex. The /ʊ/ in Luke is lax.
The vowel feature or dimension pertaining to the position of the tongue body along the superior-inferior (high-low) aspect.
Refers to the vertical position of the tongue body.
Vowels produced in the highest position (tongue is close to the roof of the mouth) are called high vowels.
Vowels produced in the lowesy position (tongue depressed in the mouth) are the low vowels.
Intermediate tongue positions: mid-high, mid, or mid-low.
LOW VOWEL EXAMPLES
The vowel feature or dimension pertaining to the position of the tongue body along the anterior-posterior (front-back) aspect.
Advancement implies the horizontal aspect.
For English vowels, 3 descriptors are used: front, central, and back.
Front: / i ɪ e ɛ æ /
Central: / ɝ ɜ ɚ ə ʌ /
Back: / u ʊ o ɔ ɑ /
/ i ɪ e ɛ æ /
/ ɝ ɜ ɚ ə ʌ /
- supper (both vowels)
/ u ʊ o ɔ ɑ /
Example: he [hi]
Jaw: Closed or elevated position.
Tongue: High-front position, so that maximal constriction occurs in the palatal region; pharynx is widely opened, with advancement of tongue root.
Velopharynx: Normally closed unless sound is in nasal context; velum tends to be quite high.
Example: hid [hɪd]
Jaw: Closed to mid-open.
Tongue: High-mid and front posture, so that maximal constriction is developed in palatal region; pharynx not as widely opened as in the case of /i/.
Velpharynx: Normally closed unless in nasal context.
Example: chaos [keɑs]
Jaw: Mid position.
Tongue: Mid and front position, creating maximal constriction of the vocal tract in the palatal region; constriction < /ɪ/.
Velopharynx: Normally closed unless sound is in nasal context.
Example: head [hɛd]
Jaw: Mid position.
Tongue: Low-mid and front position, so that constriction of the vocal tract tends to be uniform along its length (that is, no region of marked constriction).
Velopharynx: Normally closed unless in nasal context.
Example: had [hæd]
Tongue: Low-front in mouth, nearly the lowest front vowel in IPA and in General American Speech.
Velopharynx: Normally closed unless in nasal context; velar position during velopharyngeal closure tends to be low compared to other front vowels.
Examples: her [hɝ], return [rətɝn], stirrup, worthy
Lips: Usually rounded.
Tongue: Mid-central, often bunched in the palatal region.
Velopharynx: Normally closed except for nasal contexts.
Example: British or Southern her [hɜ]
*The best description of /ɜ/ is /ɝ/ WITHOUT the r coloring.*
Examples: further [fərðɚ]
Lips: Rounded, but not necessarily so.
Jaw: Usually closed to mid open.
Tongue: Mid-central, with a bunching toward the palatal area.
Velopharynx: Normally closed except in nasal contexts.