Definition of triphthong – a union of three vowels (letters or sounds) pronounced in one syllable (as in fire). English doesn’t really have triphthongs because no phonemic sequence of three vowel sounds occupies the same syllable in English. As with. There are three triphthongs that are generally agreed upon in American English: / aʊə/ (“ah-oo-uh”), /aɪə/ (“ah-ih-uh”), and /jʊə/ (“ee-oo-uh”). These always.

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Did he only do this for metrical purposes, or is there a tendency for function words to be smoothed and compressed more often than content words? It led to corroboration of a and o. Turned into a running gag. Listen to people talking about “science and technology” or “firepower”. Is that anything like a trikini? As Janus mentions in a comment, there may be English dialects in which certain phonemes have allophones that can produce a tautosyllabic triphthong.

I do not pretend that mine is the only possible triohthongs, and would like to hear what others have to say in their own answers. The are homophones for me, at least.

Triphthongs and smoothing

The Northern Bavarian triphthongs have evolved from combinations of former long vowels or diphthongs from the Middle High German MHG period and vocalized r.

Here in Australia, the first set in particular is generally pronounced as a distinct two syllables by some speakers [ni:. But someone should measure this properly, if it hasn’t already been done.

It depends on what you’re analysing. I mentioned that in LPD I treat them as varisyllabic.

Besses and Irlams carols in the cathedral new letters sensation Bryn Terfel formatting your comments triphthongs, anyone? Even in dialects like Viennese, which turn all diphthongs into monophthongs, these words retain two syllables. I suppose I ought to say something in response to the criticism of my unsatisfactory writing about triphthongs in my elementary textbook aimed at beginners in English phonetics.


Oh I did so hope it was, but sadly it seems it’s not in any dictionary! The existence of one-syllable forms of words like “science” and “quiet” seems to me to be parallel to the process which leads to the NEAR vowel appearing in words like “theatre” and “vehicle” which I perceive as two syllables.

Triphthongs and smoothing – English Pronunciation

The former set I would argue can indeed undergo compression without smoothing, but the latter set can’t: And somebody from the U. John Atkinson 11 December at Email Required, but never shown.

HotLicks I have utterly no idea what you mean. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. The idea of triphthongs probably simply survives because of graphic things, even if these are in a phonemic or phonetic notation rather than in conventional orthography.

Peter Roach English Phonetics and Phonology4th ed. Although playa derives from the Spanish word for beach, it does not usually mean that in English. OK, how about this one then: Mio Navman Spirit S Northern Bavarian has the following triphthongs: Ed 11 December at Although the stress deviates the sound is equivalent. This article needs additional citations for verification. Robert Hunt 11 2.

Of course, for the English accent described there is a well-established set of diphthongal syllabic nuclei that is a subset of all possible diphthongs, and these are presented in the book. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Articles needing additional references from April All articles needing additional references All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from June Given that, do we have triphthongs in English?


Both of these processes are optional or stylistically determined. That’s definitely compression with smoothing, to the point where uncompressing and unsmoothing it would sound unnatural! No, it wasn’t a reaction to what you said.

You say that “at the phonetic level” we don’t have triphthongs in English. I’m not sure I would find myself arguing that “fire” is a two-syllable word in English. Many non-rhotic speakers may have homophones like “see a” vs.

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A triphthong is a glide from one vowel to another and then to a third, all produced rapidly and without interruption. A flat silt- or sand-covered area, free of vegetation and usu. I think the reason is that they don’t go “forwards and backwards” — they are smooth curves on the vowel chart, without any strong bends, so that for some of them tdiphthongs they are di- or triphthongs depends on the speed of speech.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Some engkish describe the English vowel system as including not only diphthongs but also triphthongs. On the other hand, hearing in my mind’s ear the two words as they would be pronounced by a native speaker of RP, Triphthonbs hear no difference at all apart from the initial “p”.

Hm, make that “Wye” or the name of the letter “Y”, so as to avoid the issue of voiced vs voiceless w. The British Isles pp. These sequences are subject to two possible processes: For them CVVC would be a word like chaosdisyllabic.

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