Diphthong

From Teflpedia

A diphthong (/ˈdɪfθɒŋg/) is a sound that moves from one vowel sound to another. There are two main kinds in English: rising diphthongs and falling diphthongs.

Falling diphthong[edit]

A falling diphthong starts with a vowel of higher prominence and ends with a short vowel [ɪ], [ʊ], [ə] or semivowel [j] or [w]. In English it is customary to use vowels (e.g. [ɪ] instead of [j]), and to consider falling diphthongs as phonemes.

Some phoneticians consider that /iː/ is a diphthong [ij] and that /uː/ is a diphthong [uw].

Rising diphthong[edit]

A rising diphthong begins with a semivowel [j] or [w]. In English rising diphthongs are normally analyzed as sequences of two phonemes. There are many rising diphthongs in English, as /j/ and /w/ can combine with many vowels.

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