A monophthong (Greek monóphthongos from mónos "single" and phthóngos "sound") is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation.
The conversion of monophthongs to diphthongs (diphthongization) or of diphthongs to monophthongs (monophthongization), is a major element of language change and is likely the cause of further changes.
Some sounds that may be perceived by native speakers as monophthongs in English are, in fact, diphthongs; the vowel sound in pay — pronounced ˈpeɪ is an example of this.
Some dialects of English make monophthongs out of former diphthongs. For instance, Southern American English tends to alter the diphthong /aɪ/ as in eye to an [aː] somewhere between /ɑ/ and /æ/.
On the other hand, former monophthongs have become diphthongs in American English. For instance, the /ɪ/ in words like pin changes to [ɪə] in some American dialects.
Historically, some languages treat vowel sounds that were formerly diphthongs as monophthongs. Such is the case in Sanskrit, in whose grammar the sounds now realised as /e/ and /o/ are conceptually ai and au, and are written that way in the Devanagari and related alphabets. The sounds /ai/ and /au/ exist in Sanskrit, but are written as if they were āi and āu, with long initial vowels.
- Index of phonetics articles
- List of vowels
- List of phonetics topics
- Vowel cluster
- Vowel breaking
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Monophthong — Mon oph*thong, n. [Gr. ? with one sound; mo nos alone + ? sound, voice.] 1. A single uncompounded vowel sound. [1913 Webster] 2. A combination of two written vowels pronounced as one; a digraph. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
monophthong — [män′əf thôŋ΄] n. [< Gr monophthongos, of or with one sound < monos, single (see MONO ) + phthongos, a sound, voice] a simple vowel sound during the utterance of which the vocal organs remain in a relatively unchanging position, as (ä),… … English World dictionary
Monophthong — Ein Monophthong (v. griech. monos „allein“ und phthóngos „Laut“) ist ein einfacher Vokal ohne Veränderung der Qualität (z. B. u , a ) im Gegensatz zu Diphthongen (z. B. au , ei ). Monophthonge können hinsichtlich ihrer Quantität… … Deutsch Wikipedia
monophthong — n. single vowel sound. ♦ monophthongal, a. ♦ monophthongize, v.t. pronounce as monophthong … Dictionary of difficult words
monophthong — noun Etymology: Late Greek monophthongos single vowel, from Greek mon + phthongos sound Date: 1616 a vowel sound that throughout its duration has a single constant articulatory position • monophthongal adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
Monophthong — См. monottongo … Пятиязычный словарь лингвистических терминов
monophthong — См. monottongo … Пятиязычный словарь лингвистических терминов
monophthong — monophthongal /mon euhf thawng geuhl, thong /, adj. /mon euhf thawng , thong /, n. Phonet. a vowel retaining the same quality throughout its duration. Cf. diphthong. [1610 20; < Gk monóphthongos equiv. to mono MONO + phthóngos sound] * * * … Universalium
monophthong — noun A vowel (in the sense of a sound rather than a letter of the alphabet) that has the same sound throughout its pronunciation, such as the short vowels in pap , pep , pip , pop and pup , as opposed to a diphthong (eg, /aɪ/, the vowel in pipe ) … Wiktionary
Monophthong — Mo|no|phthọng auch: Mo|noph|thọng 〈m. 1; Sprachw.〉 einfacher Vokal; Ggs Diphthong; → Lexikon der Sprachlehre [zu grch. monophthongos „eintönig“] * * * Mo|no|ph|thọng, der; [e]s, e [griech. monóphthoggos, eigtl. = allein tönend, zu: phthóggos … Universal-Lexikon