Vowel quality is determined by the position of the lower jaw, the shape of the oral cavity, the tenseness of the tongue muscles, and the changes in movement during articulation. Vowel phonemes are classified according to the following phonetic features:

1. SIMPLE or COMPLEX (Simple vowels are also LAX) (Complex vowels are also TENSE)
3. HIGH, MID, or, LOW (according to the position of the tongue relative to the palate)
4. FRONT, CENTRAL or BACK (according to the portion of the tongue that is involved in the articulation)
5. ROUNDED or UNROUNDED (according to the shape of the lips)

The following chart illustrates this classification

nuevo chart vowels

The vowel sounds are affected by the changing shape and disposition of your articulators and that is the reason why vowels are generally classified in terms of articulation. Our articulators are the tongue, lips, upper teeth, lower teeth, soft palate, gum ridge, and vocal cords. The production of vowels is established by the position of the tongue and the degree of lip rounding. The following chart illustrates this classification.


One thought on “1. THE VOWELS IN ENGLISH

  1. This was very informative. WOW— wonderful explainations. I was unsure if your company is OPEN TOOLBOX or
    where I go to find out more of your blogs. Susan S

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