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JD Hyomin
ir vs er and Diphthong vs Vowel Digraph I'm wondering what's the difference of pronunciation between ir and er. for example between stir or girl and mother or weather. Actually when hearing those of them, I can't find any differences. It's same for me. And what's the difference of between diphthong and vowel digraph? Please answer to me~ Thank you~~
Oct 6, 2016 2:18 PM
Answers · 4
A "digraph" is a combination of two letters used in writing to represent a single sound; some examples from English would be: oo, ee, ir. A "diphthong" is a compound vowel sound made up of two different vowels within the same syllable; some examples from English are /aʊ/ as in "house", /ei/ as in "make". The vowel of "stir/girl" is slightly different to the vowel of "mother/weather". The first, /ɛː/, is pronounced further forward in the mouth and is longer, and it is only found in stressed syllables. It can be represented in English by various digraphs, including "ir", "er", "ur", "ear" (as in "girl", "fern", "burn", "learn"). The second, /ə/, can be represented in many different ways in English, including "er"; it is shorter, pronounced nearer the centre of the mouth and is only found in unstressed syllables.
October 7, 2016
Hello Hyomin, 'Stir' and 'Girl' actually have the same vowel sound (BrE /stɜː(r) and (BrE /ɡɜːl/) (the ɜː sound is like the 'er' at the end of 'computer' A dipthong is two vowel sounds which appear together, very often the sound is equivalent to a single letter although the first sound takes the longer part (approximately 65% of the sound) As far as I can tell a vowel digraph are the actual letters which produce the dipthong. Hope this helps Bob
October 6, 2016
JD Hyomin
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language