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  1. #1
    worldeng is offline Newbie
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    How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    The vowel sound ɑɪ of "Right" is slightly different from that of "Buy", I wonder how do we distinguish their sound difference of ɑɪ when using phonetics symbol.
    Last edited by worldeng; 21-Apr-2021 at 01:54.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    The differences, mainly in length, are so slight that few except phoneticians are even aware that it exists. In phonemic transcription, the vowel sounds of both right and buy are the same -/ aɪ/. In broad phonetic transcription the vowel of the former can be transcribed as /aːɪ/, and of the latter /aɪ/. The symbols used in narrow transcription will depend on the sounds produced by the individual speaker.
    Last edited by 5jj; 21-Apr-2021 at 11:40. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    worldeng is offline Newbie
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    Re: How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    The vowel sound of Right is shorter, Buy is longer but both use /aɪ/ in IPA expression

  4. #4
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    Re: How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    Quote Originally Posted by worldeng View Post
    The vowel sound of Right is shorter, Buy is longer but both use /aɪ/ in IPA expression
    We use /aɪ/ for both in phonemic transcription.

  5. #5
    jadeJ is offline Newbie
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    Re: How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    The vowels in both words 'right' and 'buy' are the same /ɑɪ/ and to my ears sound exactly the same. My tip is to not overthink tiny details of sound.
    If these words sound as if they have different vowels to you, then perhaps in your accent they do contain different vowels. Notice that the spellings of these words are very different, which could lead your eye/ear to think the pronunciation ought to be different.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to distinguish the vowel sound between "Right" and "Buy" in phonetics symbol?

    Quote Originally Posted by jadeJ View Post
    The vowels in both words 'right' and 'buy' are the same /ɑɪ/ and to my ears sound exactly the same. My tip is to not overthink tiny details of sound.
    If these words sound as if they have different vowels to you, then perhaps in your accent they do contain different vowels. Notice that the spellings of these words are very different, which could lead your eye/ear to think the pronunciation ought to be different.
    In American English, they're slightly different. Buy rhymes with eye. They start with a more open-mouthed ah sound and diphthong into an ee.

    The i in right is, well, tighter, more closed-mouthed. It starts with more of an eh sound and go to the ee.

    But I don't know how you'd write either one phonetically.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 03-Jun-2021 at 20:07.
    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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