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    #1

    Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    It is generally said that a diphthong refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. So, is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:](starting with a vowel sound) rather than as [yu:] (starting with a consonant sound)?

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    #2

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    In a word like "usually" the first sound is a "y."

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    #3

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    In a word like "usually" the first sound is a "y."
    Thank you for your reply, SoothingDave.

    My question arose from the following information:

    "Falling (or descending) diphthongs start with a vowel quality of higher prominence (higher pitch or volume) and end in a semivowel with less prominence, like [aɪ̯] in eye, while rising (or ascending) diphthongs begin with a less prominent semivowel and end with a more prominent full vowel, similar to the [ja] in yard. (Note that "falling" and "rising" in this context do not refer to vowel height; the terms "opening" and "closing" are used instead. See below.) The less prominent component in the diphthong may also be transcribed as an approximant, thus [aj] in eye and [ja] in yard. However, when the diphthong is analysed as a single phoneme, both elements are often transcribed with vowel letters (/aɪ̯/, /ɪ̯a/)." Diphthong, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphthong

    "All English diphthongs are falling, apart from /juː/, which can be analyzed as [i̯uː]." Id.

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    #4

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    Hello TaiwanPofLee,

    I think you misread the Wikipedia article. Put simply, [juː] and [i̯uː] are exactly the same sound.
    The articulation of [j] is phonetically almost the same as that of a close front unrounded vowel [i], except that [j] does not occupy the nucleus (the most prominent component) position in a syllable. In other words, unlike [i], [j] is not “syllabic.” And the diacritic [ ̯ ] under [i] in [i̯uː] means that the sound is “non-syllabic.” So, [juː] equals [i̯uː].

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    #5

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    Thank you for your reply, N Senbei.

    I am preoccupied with the idea that /i/ (as i in hit) and /y/ or /j/ (as y in yet) are two distinct sounds, the former being a vowel sound and the latter a consonant sound, and, the alphabetical letter 'u', like 'a', 'i' and 'o', is a diphthong, which consists of two vowel sounds. Therefore, I think the pronunciation of the word 'you', which starts with a consonant letter 'y', is different from that of the alphabetical letter 'u'.

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    #6

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    The following is quoted from “The sounds of language: An introduction to phonetics” by Henry Rogers.

    In principle, any vowel position can be used for a glide. A subscript cap [ ̯ ] is used to show lack of syllabicity, that is, to change a vowel symbol to that of a glide, as in [ ə̯ ɛ̯ ʌ̯ ]. Four glides [ i̯ u̯ y̯ ɯ̯ ] are so common that they have their own symbols: [ j w ɥ ɰ ].

    As you can see, with a diacritic [ ̯ ], [ i̯ ] is no longer a pure vowel but a glide, and it represents the same sound as a glide [ j ]. So, obviously there is no difference between the pronunciation of "You" and "U."

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    #7

    Re: Is the long u sound pronounced as [iu:] rather than as [yu:] ?

    Quote Originally Posted by N Senbei View Post
    The following is quoted from “The sounds of language: An introduction to phonetics” by Henry Rogers.

    In principle, any vowel position can be used for a glide. A subscript cap [ ̯ ] is used to show lack of syllabicity, that is, to change a vowel symbol to that of a glide, as in [ ə̯ ɛ̯ ʌ̯ ]. Four glides [ i̯ u̯ y̯ ɯ̯ ] are so common that they have their own symbols: [ j w ɥ ɰ ].

    As you can see, with a diacritic [ ̯ ], [ i̯ ] is no longer a pure vowel but a glide, and it represents the same sound as a glide [ j ]. So, obviously there is no difference between the pronunciation of "You" and "U."
    Thank you for your reply, N Senbei.

    Your answer is really convincing.

    Is there a different opinion from Henry Rogers's?

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