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English lax vowels    ( LINK A - normal)

"Vowel space" positions of the lax vowels:   (What does "lax" mean? )
(Lax vowels are always short )
 
KEYWORD SYMBOL EXAMPLES
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

 

What does "LAX" mean?

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 )

Lax vowels are always short

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


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