6.the distinctive and non-dist features of English vowels


Vowels have 2 main characteristics: length and quality. Quality is the distinctive feature of a vowel, regardless of the position of the vowel. It components:
1. stability of articulation (monophthongs, diphthongs, triphthongs, diphthongized vowels)
2. the position of the tongue (horizontal and vertical movement of the tongue, lip rounding)
Other components are:
1) lip position2) tenseness3) checknessThey are considered non-distinctive as they have no phonological value. Vowel LENGTH os also a non-distinctive feature. It is dependent on the phonetic context, in the particular on the following consonant. It is the so-called "positional length". Vowels are the longest in the open syllable, slightly shorter before a sonorant or a voiced consonant and they are the shortest before the voiceless consonant:
be [i:] - the longest
beed [i:d] - a bit shorter
beat [i:t] - much shorter

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