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Re: Ease of pronunciation

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Thursday, February 16, 2006, 10:45
On 2/16/06, David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...> wrote:
> René wrote: > << > Do any of you know whether there are vowels that are inherently > easier to > pronounce than others - for all people? > >> > > In theory, [@] (schwa) should be the easiest vowel to pronounce, > because it's supposed to be the sound you make if you vibrate > your vocal folds and your mouth is a completely neutral position. > (In practice, it takes a little bit of work to pronounce a true schwa.) > By this theory, I'm guessing that [E] should be easier to pronounce > than [e], actually, because it's lax, and the tongue is closer to its > rest position.
So would I. [a] could also be a good candidate for "easy to pronounce" -- after all, it's supposed to be a baby's first vowel sound (see [mama] etc., which crops up in lots of languages' baby talk for a parent, usually the mother, combining "the easiest consonant" and "the easiest vowel").
> But, then again, I'm sure 99% of it language specific.
On 2/16/06, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote:
> No idea, but I suspect any such differences are swamped by language-specific > neural wiring that makes the sounds of that language come "naturally".
Ditto. For most English speakers, for example, I'd say that [E] is easy while [e] is harder, since it's not a phoneme in English ("long a" is a diphthong, for most speakers, not a pure [e] as in, say, French or German). Cheers, Philip -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>


René Uittenbogaard <ruittenb@...>