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Phonetics - Assignment Example

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Vowels are essential in construction of syllables as they are almost ever in the central position in a syllable. Vowels are distinguished by various properties including position of the tongue, shape of…
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Download file to see previous pages... Contrary, a monophthong is a pure vowel sound whose articulation at the beginning and the end is comparatively fixed. In his research, Yousef candidly states that Arabic is currently the world’s 2nd most spoken language considering the large number of people who speak it all over the world. Disparagingly, it has received less attention from researchers and scholars and little has been done in reference to its acoustics. The (MSA)Modern Standard Arabic has two diphthongs -/ay/ أي"" , with the glide beginning from the vowel /a/ to consonant /y/ as evident in the word /bayt/بيت. The second diphthong is -/aw/ "أو" where the glide begins from /a/ to /w/ as in / nawm / (sleep) (Odisho, 2005). Noteworthy, its diphthongs are a combination of consonant and vowel. Moreover, further research indicates that it is Lebanese dialect that is conserving the original pronunciations having /e/ and /o/ as the only diphthongs. The other dialects within Arabic have been tainted with dialectical speeches and do not preserve this original articulation but contain the aforementioned diphthongs.
English has eight diphthongs divided into two; centering and closing diphthongs. Centering diphthongs end with a glide -/ɪə/ towards /ə/, the central vowel. At the beginning of the glide, the tongue position is at /I/ and moves towards /ə/ as found in ‘beer’. Other centering diphthongs are -/ʊə/ and -/ eə/ as found in ‘sure’ and ‘chair’ respectively. The closing diphthongs end with a slither towards / ʊ/ or /i/. Such diphthongs include -/ei/, -/ɔɪ/, -/ai/, -/əʊ/ and -/aʊ/ (Odisho, 2005).
Moreover, the MSA and English have monophthongs that are at times confused or merged with diphthongs. MSA stands out with only 3 monophthongs as indicated in figure 1 below. Arabic depends on the 3 monophthongs in all its constructions and this indicate why the language is sometimes perceived to be limited in application although a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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