What is the Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs?

What is the Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs? Vowels can be plotted on a vowel diagram with reference to the main vowels.

A pure vowel is a vowel that does not contain any diphthongs. In other words, it does not contain any consonant sounds other than the vowel.

Describing the Vowel

What is a Vowel? A vowel is a sound that comes at the end of a syllable. Vowels have many different sounds, depending on the way that they are produced.

In English, there are five vowels, a, e, i, o and u, which have a variety of different sounds and positions in the syllable. In German, however, all five vowels have the same sound, which makes German easier to learn.

The most common type of vowel is the short or “pure” vowel, which sounds like the first sound in ‘but’ when you say it in isolation.

The second most common type is the long or “plosive” vowel, which is the sound you might hear when you say ‘buhk’. Vowels that are considered to be “trans-posed” are rare, but they exist and they are important in several languages.

What Are Diphthongs?

Diphthongs are a class of sounds that are characterized by a long o sound and an e sound (the schwa) that is attached to the o sound. These sounds are not part of the phoneme /o/ and /e/ as the schwa.

Examples are /ao/ and /ai/. Schwa-containing diphthongs are not the same as diphthongs that contain schwas. Many writers mistakenly assume that the schwa is always attached to a vowel or diphthong.

In the history of English, there have been two main phonetic changes that have affected the way we pronounce the English language.

In the past, there were two places that diphthongs were created – the first was when the sound represented by the vowel was pronounced as two sounds, sometimes referred to as a diphthong. The other place where diphthongs are created is when two vowels are connected by a vowel sound, where they are often referred to as vowel //.

For examples, the word ‘the’ is often pronounced as /t/ and /d/ connected together. The word ‘breath’ is often pronounced as /br/ and /t/ connected together.

Main Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs

Diphthong in English

Understand Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs through the following table: -
Pure VowelsDiphthongs
A pure vowel has only one sound.A diphthong has two (or more) sounds.
The pure vowel (which is similar to an English U).The diphthong (which is pronounced like an English V).
A vowel is a sound that comes at the end of a syllable.Diphthongs are a class of sounds that are characterized by a long o and e sound.

For the purposes of pronunciation, the only Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs is that there is more than one sound. A pure vowel has only one sound, whereas a diphthong has two (or more) sounds.

For example, the diphthong (which is pronounced like an English V) is different from the pure vowel (which is similar to an English U). When a word ends in (for example,) then there is only one sound in the word, and it is a pure sound.

Other Differences Between a Pure Vowel and a Diphthong

First, we’ll build clean vowels. Since all vowels are pronounced in English and there are no nasal vowels, we assume that when the English vowels are pronounced, the vocal cords vibrate and the soft palate rises to block the nasal passage.

How do you describe them? We describe vowels in terms of the raised portions of the tongue and the relative height to which it is raised in the mouth.

The front of the raised tongue may be a rather high mouth than for a vowel in a bead, or it may be slightly lower in the mouth for a vowel in a bead, for example, in an ape and lower for a vowel in a bed and even lower. for a vowel in bed.

Likewise, the back of the tongue is high in the mouth to pronounce vowels in cold weather; it is slightly lower in the mouth, lower in the mouth for the vowel at rest.

Another important feature used to describe vowels in the position of the lips as they are pronounced. Sometimes the position of the lips is the only distinguishing feature – between two vowels.

For example, the two vowels. a: / in calm, and / D in hot, are vowels during which the back of the tongue is low to the mouth, and these are the only features that distinguish / a /; from / D / – lip position.

We have mentioned long and short vowels. When we talk about “long” vowels, we mean the relative length of the long vowels.

In identical environments, long vowels are longer than short ones. For example, the vowel / I, /, in feet longer than the vowel / I /, is fine. These words differ only in the vowel. The two consonants / f / and / t / are common to both.

In addition, each vowel has a different degree of length depending on the phonetic environment in which it occurs.

For example, it is common for a vowel sound to be longer when followed by a voiced consonant or when it occurs at the end of a word than when it is followed by a voiceless consonant, such as a Jar / in side vowel and the sigh is longer than it is visible.

The / ae / in tag is longer than the / ae / in bar. The vowel in the last position in words is longer than before voiced consonants.

For example, the vowels / a / in the word car are longer than in the vocabulary card. Thus, the length of a vowel is a variation that depends on the position it occupies in the word.

Diphthong in English

Diphthongs are vowels in which the tongue moves from one position in the mouth to another. To denote this sliding (movement) from one position to another, the phonetic symbols for each diphthong are a combination of two vowels: the first in which the language is in its original position, and the one to which the language is moving. The two symbols represent one sound, not two sounds.

Of eight diphthongs,   (a) on three tongues slides towards / I /, that is, / ei, ai / (b) in two tongues slides towards / u /, that is, / au, au /, and (c) In a triple, the tongue slides towards / a /, that is, / ea, ua /.

Diphthongs in which the language moves towards the vowels / I and U / are called closing diphthongs, and those in which the language moves towards / a / are called centering diphthongs. Closing diphthongs sliding in / I / /

  • / er / as / in gate

The slide starts at a point just below the front half-closed position and moves in the / I / direction. When the tongue moves to / I /, the lower jaw moves upward closer to the upper than it was for / e /, the first element of the diphthong. The lips are parted.

  • / ai / as / in bite

To play / ai /, the tongue slides from a point near the front open position to the vowel RP / I //. Along with sliding, the lower jaw moves from an open position to a much closer one.

The lips, which are initially in a neutral position, gradually change to slightly spread apart, as for / I /. The vowel is found in both accented and unstressed positions.

  • / oi / as a boy

For the production of / oi / first, the dorsum of the tongue is moved to a position between open and semi-open, and the lips are open and rounded.

The tongue then slides in the direction of the vowel / I /. Lips that open rounded at first change to a neutral shade towards the end. The jaw movement is less than that of the diphthong / ah /.

As a rule, the vowel is found in accented syllables. The syllables of its occurrence are rare. Closing diphthongs slide along / u ///: / au, au /.

  • / au / like in a boat

For the / au / diphthong, sliding occurs from a central position between half-closed and half-open, and moves in the / u / direction. Jaw movement is very slight. The lips are neutral at the beginning of the slide and rounded towards the end.

  • / ea / as in rare

For the diphthong / ea /, the slide starts from the front between the half-closed and half-open, closer to the half-open position, and moves in the direction / a /.

The slide moves in the direction of the opener / a / if / ea / occurs completely, like in a bear, and in the direction of the less open variant / a /, if it does not occur at the end, as in a rare, varied one. Lips open neutral while sliding.

Hopefully in this article we already knew about the Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs.


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FAQs about Difference Between Pure Vowels and Diphthongs


Q1. Is diphthong a pure vowel sound?

Answer: A diphthong is one pronunciation of a vowel sound that is considered a mixture of two vowel sounds. The vowel sound is sometimes called a pure vowel, and the mixed vowel sound is often called a glide.

Q2. What is a pure vowel?

Answer: The pure vowel is the vowel that doesn’t sound anything like the surrounding consonants, such as a, o, e, or u, or a, o, u, or i.

Q3. Is cow a diphthong?

Answer: It is a diphthong, because /Ow/ is pronounced as /o/ and /a/ as /o/ in the second syllable of “cow”. Thus, it becomes /ow/ (pau, “cow”). Although, as a phonetic rule, a diphthong is defined only by the first member of the pair, in the case of “cow”, the first member is the vowel /a/ and the second member is the vowel /o/ and thus they both are one diphthong.  However, some words have two diphthongs, but are not considered diphthongs.

Q4. How do you identify diphthongs?

Answer: First, pronounce each syllable of the diphthongs, then listen to each syllable in turn. Now listen to the diphthong again. Did it sound different?

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