The vowel contrast between /ᴧ/ and /a:/ is a distinction that exists in certain languages, including English. These symbols represent specific vowel sounds in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which is a system used to transcribe and represent the sounds of human language.

/ᴧ/ represents a mid-central vowel sound, sometimes referred to as a “schwa” sound. It is the vowel sound found in unstressed syllables of many English words, such as the first syllable in “about” or the second syllable in “banana.”

/a:/ represents an open-back vowel sound. It is commonly found in English words like “car,” “park,” or “father.”

The main difference between these two vowel sounds is their position in the mouth. /ᴧ/ is a more centralized sound, meaning that the tongue is positioned in the middle of the mouth without touching the roof or the sides. /a:/, on the other hand, is a more open sound, where the tongue is positioned further back in the mouth, creating a wider opening.

It’s important to note that the actual pronunciation of these vowel sounds can vary between different English dialects and accents. The vowel system of English is quite complex and varies across regions, so there might be slight differences in the way these sounds are realized depending on the speaker or the specific context.

/ᴧ/                                                                     /a:/

Come                                                                    calm

Cut                                                                         cart

Hut                                                                         heart

Dunce                                                                   dance

Must                                                                     mast

Sum                                                                       psalm

Roughed                                                              raft

EVALUATION: transcribe the following words and identity the following sounds /ᴧ/ and /a:/

  1. Heart Clerk                 3.bark                   4. Buck                 5. Hum                 6. Harm
  2. Barred Bud                   9. Lark   10. Luck

ASSIGNMENT: transcribe any ten word of your choice for the vowel contrast  /ᴧ/ and /a:/

See also





CONTRAST /t/ and /s/

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