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  1. #1
    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    different sounds of Vowel 4

    Dear all,

    Please explain to me why different sources produce acoustically Vowel 4 differently? (for instance https://youtu.be/xa5bG_wrK7s?t=502, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_f...nrounded_vowel). Thank you.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Internet, youtube. I have referred to two of them. Thank you.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    With consonants, there is physical contact between the tongue, the roof of the mouth and/or some of the teeth. It is therefore possible to describe, with diacritics, exactly how the sound represented by any particular IPA consonant symbol is produced.

    The situation with vowels is not quite so precise. The quality of a vowel sound depends on the height of the tongue in the mouth (from high/close to low/open), the backness of the tongue (from front to back), and the roundedness and spread of the lips. As there is no contact between the lips and any other part of the mouth, it is not possible to define the position of the tongue precisely. The vowel quadrilateral chart is useful approximation.

    For many years, Daniel Jones's recordings of the primary cardinals were accepted as the definitive vowel sounds. However, more accurate recording and measuring devices have led some phoneticians to question the exact quality of each cardinal vowel. You can hear Jones's [a] here, (at 0.36) and the [a] of Jill House, Peter Ladefoged and John Wells here You should be able to hear that they are not exactly the same.
    Thank you. Is that true (at least, I hear this as a non-native speaker ) that Jones's [a] is more appropriate (accurate) for the sound of vowel in trap and cat? Thank you.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Jones's [a] is closer to my southern standard BrE trap vowel than it is to my bath vowel.
    Would it mean that you pronounce "cat" and "trap" differently?

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    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    It might also be because the people you're listening to are from different parts of the world and speak English differently. There are a lot of of English accents. Just in my small region, the state of Maine, USA, there are more than one.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    It might also be because the people you're listening to are from different parts of the world and speak English differently. There are a lot of of English accents. Just in my small region, the state of Maine, USA, there are more than one.
    Thank you for your comments. But my question did not relate to various accent of English in the world. It was very specific and related to the difference of pronunciation surrounding [a] of the South of UK. For me it is not clear whether people there pronounce "trap" a bit differently than "cat". Thank you for your clarification.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I did not say that. I use the same vowel in both words.

    Actually, a spectrogram might reveal extremely slight differences, but very few native listeners could detect them.
    In other words, there are some people in UK who pronounce "trap/cat" slightly different from others. As I understand, those who speak RP nowdays pronounce the pair more openly than other English people do. Am I right? I am wondering may be you have a link where I can hear the people who pronounce trap/cat in 2 ways.

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    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Actually, a spectrogram might reveal extremely slight differences, but very few native listeners could detect them.
    I think vowels with an r on either side of them are at least slightly colored by that letter. Pronunciation examples using words where a vowel is followed by an r are a pet peeve (unless, of course, they are only one of a number of samples).
    I am not a teacher.

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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That should not affect the way they produce cardinal vowels. One of the points about IPA symbols is that they are not tied to any language, variety or dialect.
    Yes, but given that there are an infinite number of ways of saying the vowels and only eight have a symbol, the symbol will be pronounced differently by different people, unless you use all sorts of diacritics. My Australia unadorned // will usually be transcribed that way, and sound different from your //.

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    svetlana14 is offline Member
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    Re: different sounds of Vowel 4

    What is the value of IPA for studying the phonetic of any language. For instance, let's take a modern RP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation). If you further look at the chart of Gimson (presented on the right https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation), one would notice that /æ/ takes the position of [a] of the original IPA. My question is how to use IPA for understanding British dialects. My understnding is that I should compare IPA (general) and an IPA where vowels are located for the specific dialect (Gimson's vision). In terms of modern RP, one should notice that /æ/, for instance, is the same positon as [a]. Is my approach correct?

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