Definition of triphthong – a union of three vowels (letters or sounds) pronounced in one syllable (as in fire). English doesn’t really have triphthongs because no phonemic sequence of three vowel sounds occupies the same syllable in English. As with. There are three triphthongs that are generally agreed upon in American English: / aʊə/ (“ah-oo-uh”), /aɪə/ (“ah-ih-uh”), and /jʊə/ (“ee-oo-uh”). These always.

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I’d better had clung to the true prophet JCW. Apart from the bit at the end about “Gower”, everything I said was about my intuition about my own speech, and that is that “hire” is normally one syllable with what I think of as a triphthong and “higher” is normally two. Could you say a entlish more about how the syllable can be defined in phonetic terms?

If liar has a triphthong, surely trying must have one. Peter Roach English Phonetics and Phonology4th ed. Ed 11 December at The process doesn’t seem to be regular: I suppose I ought to say something in response to the criticism of my unsatisfactory writing about triphthongs in my elementary textbook aimed at beginners in English phonetics. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Post Your Answer Discard By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you acknowledge that triphthonsg have read our updated terms of serviceprivacy policy and cookie policyand that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. The nonsense jingle was provided to make clear both the sense and the pronunciation of playa as discussed in the original post below.

Triphthongs and smoothing – English Pronunciation

They can be rather difficult to pronounce, and very difficult to recognise. I got somewhat used to “there you go” after I had written “therr you gaw” triphtthongs a friend once, when he ironically explained an English word as originating in Hebrew.

The Northern Bavarian triphthongs have evolved from combinations of former long vowels or diphthongs from the Middle High German MHG period and vocalized r. Part of the definition of a polyphthong is that it is tautosyllabicwhich no triphthong is in English, at least not phonemically.


I don’t doubt that English phenomes are used, but loan words are usually pronounced as closely as the use of those phenomes allow. Do we need to treat diphthongs as being attached to a single mora? I have no problem with the Standard Mandarin triphthongs. But since playas sounds the same as plierstriphhhongs must also have one, too. I am trying to discover whether words like pliers as pronounced in the south of England contain actual triphthongs, and the homophonic playas was chosen to illustrate the apparent paradox of what seem like a pair of identical two-syllable words where at least one is claimed to possess a triphthong in English.

I have a phonetic definition for “syllable” “I know it when I hear it”, and I still don’t understand how anyone who’s non-rhotic can interpret fire or h our as a single syllable. Smoothing means the loss of the second part of the strong vowel diphthong.

Wow what a blog, i really liked the enflish made between diphthongs and triphthongs, this was very informative and useful for me as taking new knowledge. A flat silt- or sand-covered area, free of vegetation and usu. To add to the difficulty, there is also the problem of whether a triphthong is felt to contain one or two syllables.

I do over-specify my pronouncements, but to cut one long story short, I meant that they are potentially two. This seems to presuppose a phonetic definition of the syllable.

Turned into a running gag. I treat the items we are discussing as basically sequences of a strong vowel plus a weak vowel. Look up triphthong in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Listen to people talking about “science and technology” or “firepower”.

Peter Roach 12 December at The most complex English sounds of the vowel type are the triphthongs.

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So diminuendo triphthongs were just an illusion, created by the effect of the final R. John, I have said before that I like your varisyllabic solutions, and to the extent that one can talk about syllabicity in these cases at all, I think what you envlish here is effulgent common sense.


And i will also need words that use the sound “j” from “garage”. The existence of one-syllable forms of words like “science” and “quiet” seems to me to be parallel to the process which leads to the NEAR vowel appearing in words like “theatre” and “vehicle” which I perceive as two syllables.

Many non-rhotic speakers may have homophones like “see a” vs. Northern Bavarian has the following triiphthongs If we where more careful in the way we speak i believe it would be easier to recognize the triphthongs that are present in the language.

Could you please describe the triphthongs in these two words?

Here it is again: Lipman 11 December at It seems to move forward and then back again. How do you define syllabicity? No, it wasn’t a reaction to what you said. He understood after this short video excerpt.

So even when you pronounce the word as closely as the use of the English phonemes allow, you don’t get wnglish semi-vowel between the syllables. If playas had a triphthong, it would have only one syllable, but my instincts tell me it has two. And how could we possibly decide that? Levente 11 December at When the spectrogram line goes nicely up and down?

I think the reason is that they don’t go “forwards and backwards” — they are smooth curves on the vowel chart, without any strong bends, so that for some of them whether they are di- or triphthongs depends on the speed of speech.

So I don’t see these as comparable at all. Given that, do we triphthogs triphthongs in English? Given that, do we have triphthongs in English?