Diphthong

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A diphthong is a vowel whose quality changes significantly in one direction during its pronunciation.

"When the medial phase shows an audible change of quality, with the change consistently progressing toward a single target, as it were, then the sound is classified as a diphthong." (Laver 1994:146)

Examples

[ai] in English wine, [au] in English house.

Comments

Often phonologists do not agreee whether a tautosyllabic sequence of two sounds is a diphthong or a sequence of vowel plus glide, or glide plus vowel.

Subtypes

Origin

From Greek di-phthongos 'two-sound'. The word is first attested in English in the 15th century.

Related terms

References

  • Laver, John. 1994. Principles of phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


Other languages

Czech dvouhláska
German Diphthong (de)