Comments on How many vowels are there in English?

Karl P (2004-09-23T09:57:13Z)

British English has some examples where "ai" is pronounced like "a" as in "cat":

Plait (braid)
Plaid (tartan)

phi (2004-09-17T11:05:07Z)

Karl: yes, it appears the original G. B. Shaw's quotation is really that "fish" could have been spelled "ghoti".

Karl P (2004-09-17T08:45:15Z)

Phi, don't you mean "ghoti" could have been pronounced "fish"?

enouGH wOmen acTIon

Ruxor (2004-09-16T17:00:16Z)

phi → Good point. Strange that I left that one out.

phi (2004-09-16T16:48:14Z)

there's also the famous "short i" spelled "o" in "women"
so that "ghost" could have been pronounced "fish"…

Anonymous Coward #1427 (2004-09-16T09:13:21Z)

Ouh! qu'il est joli ton tableau !

Et il y a une petite tirette pour quand la bobinette cherra !

Karl P (2004-09-16T09:09:08Z)

If you included unstressed vowels, you could fill in more places, such as [I] Folly (y).
There's also one vowel which only occurs unstressed. It is the schwa, which is represented by the up-side-down 'e'. It is the most common vowel in English. You may even be able to fill the entire row with it.

Some of the phonetic symbols don't display correctly for me. These include the curly 'e', the up-side-down 'c', the 'I', up-side-down 'v' and the u as in put. Hovever the up-side-down 'e' and the 'a' joined to 'e' are OK.

Manu (2004-09-16T07:23:00Z)

Tout à fait d'accord avec ta constatation, que je me faisais d'ailleurs hier en écoutant un Italien, puis un Allemand me faire une présentation technique…
Mais moi j'en tire une conclusion qui ne te plaira pas : l'espéranto, avec ses 5 voyelles, est une langue bien plus claire et mieux adaptée à la communication internationale à l'oral :-)


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