English Vowels

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Both the fields of phonetics and phonology are interested in the way in which humans produce speech. However, the interest of these two fields, within the context of the way in which humans produce speech, is approached from two different perspectives.Phonetics is concerned with the production of sounds called phonemes from a physiological or anatomical perspective (Clark, Yallop Fletcher, 2007, p. 1), or more simply, it is “the study of human speech sounds” (SIL International, 2004). This perspective may look at anatomical considerations such as the placement of tongue as well as the use of the larynx to produce the sounds found within the speech. The study of phonetics is divided into three branches: Articulatory phonetics (which deals the production of sound by vocal apparatus). Acoustic phonetics (which deals with the production of sound waves by the vocal apparatus during speech). and, Auditory phonetics (which deals with how the sound is accepted by the ears and other auditory apparatus).In contrast, phonology examines the way in which the sounds of speech are organized and, therefore, a phonological perspective frequently looks at the way in which patterns of sounds occur within the context of a particular language (Clark, Yallop Fletcher, 2007, p. 2). More simply, phonology is “the study of how sounds are organized and used in natural languages” (SIL International, 2004).Glide is a phonetic concept that refers to the transition between two sounds (Crystal, 2003, p. 324). It involves the sounds produced with almost no obstruction from the airstream followed by a vowel. For example, ‘w’ in ‘we’, ‘y’ in ‘you’, ‘h’ in hook, and ‘r’ in ‘rod’ simply glide into the preceding vowel.Off-glide refers to the transition made by the vocal organs as they exit one sound and move toward a second sound (Crystal, 2003, p. 324), and maybe represented.