ENGLISH DIPHTHONGS AND TRIPHTHONGS

ENGLISH DIPHTHONGS AND TRIPHTHONGS
By: Hartono, S.S., M.Pd.
College of Language (COLASULA)
Sultan Agung Islamic University

Definition:

• Diphthong: Sounds which consist of a movement or glide from one vowel to another.
• Pure Vowel: A vowel which remains constant, it does not glide.
• Diphthongs have the same length as the long vowels.
• The first part (sound) is much longer and stronger than the second part.
• Example: aɪ in the words ‘eye’ and ‘ɪ ’ consists of the ‘a’ vowel, and only in about the last quarter of the diphthong, does the glide to ‘ɪ’ becomes noticeable.

English has 8 diphthongs.
Centering diphthong:
1. three (3) ending in ‘ə’ : ɪə, eə, ʊə
Closing diphthong
2. three (3) ending in ‘ɪ’: eɪ, aɪ, ɔɪ
3. two (2) ending in ‘ʊ’: əʊ, aʊ

Examples:
• ɪə : beard, weird, fierce, ear, beer, tear
• eə: aired, cairn, scarce, bear, hair,
• ʊə: moored, tour, lure, sure, pure
• eɪ : paid, pain, face, shade, age, wait, taste, paper
• aɪ: tide, time, nice, buy, bike, pie, eye, kite, fine
• ɔɪ: void, loin, voice, oil, boil, coin, toy, Roy
• əʊ: load, home, most, bone, phone, boat, bowl
• aʊ: loud, gown, house, cow, bow, brow, grouse

TRIPHTHONGS
• A triphthong is a glide from one vowel to another and the to a third, all produced rapidly and without interruption. For example, a careful pronunciation of the word ‘hour’ begins with a vowel quality similar to ‘ɑ:’, goes on to ‘ʊ’ then ends in ‘ə’.
• It says /aʊə/
• Triphthong : 5 closing diphthongs with ‘ə’ added on the end.
- eɪ + ə = eɪə . as in layer, player
- aɪ + ə = aɪə. as in lire, fire
- ɔɪ + ə = ɔɪə, as in loyal, royal
- əʊ + ə = əuə, as in lower, mower
- aʊ + ə = auə, as in power, hour.

PRACTICE THE FOLLOWING WORDS (Some have pure vowels, others have diphthongs)
edge
barge
page
voyage
percentage
weight
fright
pain
poppies
pepper
machine
sing
noise
shy
spoilt
frightened
stars
darn
sigh
shorn
horse
how’s
hose
harms
owl
all
tour
found
goose
class
annoys
home
soup
mouse
snow
serve
gnaws
though
through
pea
beer
pier
their
they’re
stare
pain
closed
again
ears

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