|"Vowel space" positions of the lax vowels:||(What does "lax" mean?
(Lax vowels are always short )
|KIT||pit ink / pretty myth busy women|
|DRESS||pet send length red / read said any many|
|TRAP||pat sand bad hang shall narrow palid Annie|
|STRUT||fun cut gun sun / son love brother blood country wonder|
|LOT||hot cot gone frog bother / what wander|
|FOOT||put pull / book could would|
|("schwa")||teacher doctor beggar martyr favour
token bacon London
occur about China
Lax vowels are also called short vowels:
generally speaking, they are shorter than tense (long) vowels.
(As we shall see, tense vowels have more variable length.)
Another characteristic of lax vowels is that, when stressed,
they are always checked: that is, they do not occur alone at
the ends of words, but always need a following consonant.
(However, the three weak, unstressed vowels Schwa, KIT and FOOT
do occur at the end of words such as teacher, China, happy, to.
This is discussed later; see WEAK VOWELS in Week 4 )
This point is sometimes difficult for Icelanders to remember. Refer to 1.4.1 on p. 14 of the booklet English Pronunciation for Icelanders, and read "lax vowels are always short" on the Web page on vowel length here