Vowels' Transcriptions

Sarah   Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:35 pm GMT
Hi guys,
I would like to know the vowels' transcriptions and how to transcribe them...

I appreciate...
Guest   Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:07 pm GMT
see the IPA article at wiki
Josh Lalonde   Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:56 pm GMT
We use X-SAMPA more on this forum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-SAMPA
Levee   Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:07 am GMT
What do you mean? Vowels of standard English, or just vowels in general?
Sarah   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:34 am GMT
Thank you all. I need to know :

1-The vowels of American English.
2- How can I transcribe a word.
3-How can I understand the vowels chart( at the end of Wiki page)

I appreciate your help...
Milton   Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:26 pm GMT
Try Cambridge dictionary with pronunciation on:

Travis   Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:43 pm GMT
>>1-The vowels of American English.<<

Now, just whose dialect are you talking about? If we are talking about General American, the vowel phoneme inventory is normally:

// /ɛ/ /e(ɪ̯)/ /ɪ/ /i(ː)/ /ə/ /ɑ(ː)/ /ɒ/ /o(ʊ̯)/ /ʊ/ /u(ː)/ /aɪ̯/ /aʊ̯/ /ɔɪ̯/

and before /ɹ/:

(//) /ɛ/ /i/ /ə/ /ɑ/ /ɔ/ /u/ /aɪ̯/ /aʊ̯/ /ɔɪ̯/

Note that the above is purely phonemic in nature, and does not take into account allophony such as [ɛə̯] for // before nasals or the actual realization of vowels before /ɹ/. Also note that within even GA there is notable variation in the actual realization of the above phonemes; for instance, many GA-like dialects have lost the last vestiges of phonemic vowel length and have pure allophonic vowel length, while some still retain weak phonemic vowel length. Likewise, the most conservative forms of GA still preserve a distinction between // and /ɛ/ before /ɹ/, with historical /ɛɹ/ and /eːɹ/ already being merged, but most GA-like dialects today have lost this distinction.
Gabriel   Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:59 pm GMT
<<Now, just whose dialect are you talking about? If we are talking about General American, the vowel phoneme inventory is normally:

// /ɛ/ /e(ɪ̯)/ /ɪ/ /i(ː)/ /ə/ /ɑ(ː)/ /ɒ/ /o(ʊ̯)/ /ʊ/ /u(ː)/ /aɪ̯/ /aʊ̯/ /ɔɪ̯/ >>

Be advised though, that most textbooks will use the more conservative /O(:)/ instead of /Q/.
Travis   Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:15 pm GMT
>>Be advised though, that most textbooks will use the more conservative /O(:)/ instead of /Q/.<<

I should have written /ɒ(ː)/ above rather than /ɒ/. The thing here, though, is that the traditional transcription of /ɔ(ː)/ is rather inaccurate in the case of GA, which really has the more open /ɒ(ː)/; speakers of GA-like dialects may very well perceive actual [ɔ(ː)] as being closer to /o(ʊ̯)/ rather than perceiving it as being the same as their actual /ɒ(ː)/. The transcription of /ɔː/ is more appropriate for Received Pronunciation, which has a significantly higher vowel for such than its counterpart in GA.
Levee   Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:54 pm GMT
Travis: Wrong.
British /O:/ is usually MUCH closer than cardinal [O] and very rounded, that's why it sounds like /o(U)/ to you.
Conservative unmerged GA has [O(@)] for /O/ and not [Q:]. [Q:] is found in areas affected by the Northern Cities Vowel shift, and areas with a near-merger like the Lower Midwest.
Lazar   Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:18 pm GMT
Levee, I think you're mistaken. [ɒ:] is overwhelmingly what I hear for historical /ɔ:/ from unmerged GenAm speakers. [ɔ:] is a marked variant which I would mainly associate with a New York, Philadelphia or Providence accent or a quite conservative accent.
Levee   Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:47 pm GMT
What you are referring to as a Mid-Atlantic pronunciation, is a raised O: or o: or o@ (Even U@ is found there, as William Labov reports).

And I didn't dispute that you hear Q: much more than O: or O@ if you consider America as whole, because the influence of the processes I already mentioned. I only said that you can't say that the traditional symbolization is inaccurate, because it's accurate for the type of accent it was intended to describe. And in the North, you still hear that pronunciation a lot in the more conservative areas. Don't think of the whole Upper Midwest as having the most progressive "Rachester"-type pronunciation.

If you go here: http://www.mouton-online.com/demo/anae/start.html, you will here many O(@) realizations in the word THOUGHT from Midwestern speakers.
Sarah   Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:56 pm GMT
Thank you all. You enrich the topic.
Travis I understand this
<<// /ɛ/ /e(ɪ̯)/ /ɪ/ /i(ː)/ /ə/ /ɑ(ː)/ /ɒ/ /o(ʊ̯)/ /ʊ/ /u(ː)/ /aɪ̯/ /aʊ̯/ /ɔɪ̯/>>
But not this

<<and before /ɹ/:

(//) /ɛ/ /i/ /ə/ /ɑ/ /ɔ/ /u/ /aɪ̯/ /aʊ̯/ /ɔɪ̯/>>

I also nned to know, as you give me the transcription, how can I apply them on words? In other words, what is the sounds of those transcriptions?
Travis   Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:37 pm GMT
What I meant is that the set of vowel phonemes that is available is different before /ɹ/ than in other environments in General American due to vowel mergers. In GA, /ɛɹ/, /eːɹ/ (including previous /ɛi̯ɹ/), and, in less conservative GA, also /ɹ/ merged to /ɛɹ/, /ɔːɹ/ (which would have otherwise become */ɒ(ː)ɹ/) and /oːɹ/ (including previous /ɔu̯ɹ/) merged to /ɔɹ/, and /ɪɹ/ and /iːɹ/ merged to /iɹ/. However, though, the pronunciation of said merged vowels in /ɛɹ/, /ɔɹ/, and /iɹ/ very often differs from the vowel phonemes /ɛ/, /ɒ(ː)/, and /iː/; the vowels in /ɛɹ/ and /ɔɹ/ generally are higher than isolated /ɛ/ and /ɒ(ː)/ while that in /iɹ/ is generally lower than isolated /iː/, while at the same time the vowel in /ɛɹ/ is uncentralized unlike isolated /ɛ/ (especially in dialects with the NCVS, which often have strong centralization of isolated /ɛ/).
Guest   Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:11 pm GMT

That demo is really good. It shows that many Great Lakes speakers have /ɑ/ in caught.