Cardinal vs Pure Vowels
Home » Linguistics » What is the difference between cardinal and pure vowels

Table of Contents

In linguistics, cardinal vowels and pure vowels are two different systems that are used to describe vowel sounds.

Introduction to Cardinal and Pure Vowels

Cardinal vowels are a set of reference vowel sounds that Daniel Jones, a British phonetician, in the early 20th century developed. The cardinal vowel system consists of eight vowel sounds pronounced with the mouth in a standard neutral position. The mouth position for each vowel is specified in terms of the height and backness of the tongue. The cardinal vowels are:

Examples of Cardinal Vowels

Here are some examples of words in English that contain the cardinal vowels:

  1. /i/ (high front vowel) – beat, seat, eat
  2. /e/ (high-mid front vowel) – bed, set, met
  3. /æ/ (low-mid front vowel) – bat, sat, pat
  4. /a/ (low central vowel) – father, collar, rather
  5. /ɑ/ (low back vowel) – bard, card, hard
  6. /ɔ/ (mid back vowel) – bought, caught, fought
  7. /o/ (high-mid back vowel) – boat, coat, note
  8. /u/ (high back vowel) – boot, shoot, suit

It’s important to note that the cardinal vowels are not necessarily the same as the vowel sounds in every language. The sounds of the cardinal vowels can vary from one language to another and may be pronounced differently depending on the speaker’s accent or the dialect.

Examples of Pure Vowels

Pure vowels, on the other hand, are vowel sounds that are pronounced with minimal friction or constriction in the mouth. Pure vowels are sometimes referred to as “clear” or “voiceless” vowels. In English, pure vowel sounds are typically produced with a relaxed jaw and a slightly open mouth. Examples of pure vowel sounds in English include the sounds of the letters “i” as in “bit” and “u” as in “put.”

Here are some examples of words in English that contain pure vowel sounds:

  • bit
  • beat
  • seat
  • eat
  • met
  • kit
  • sit
  • pit
  • put
  • cut
  • but

It’s important to note that the pure vowel sounds in English are typically produced with a relaxed jaw and a slightly open mouth. They are also sometimes referred to as “clear” or “voiceless” vowel sounds because they are pronounced with minimal friction or constriction in the mouth. However, the pronunciation of pure vowel sounds can vary depending on the speaker’s accent or the dialect.

Conclusion

In summary, cardinal vowels are a set of reference vowel sounds that are pronounced with the mouth in a standard neutral position, while pure vowels are vowel sounds that are pronounced with minimal friction or constriction in the mouth.

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

Leave a Reply

Translate »
%d bloggers like this:
Secured By miniOrange