Understanding of Pronunciation of Vowel, Pronunciation of Consonants & Pronunciation of Diphthong is very important for being healthy in English, especially in English Speaking. Wrong pronunciation can change the meaning of a sentence or situation for which the particular word is used. Generally, beginner of any language crams Vocabulary but without clear and right pronunciation or wrong pronunciation, meaning or sense of the sentence can differ for other people. That’s why pronunciation plays a major role in language learning.
In this American English pronunciation Article section, we’re going to learn how to pronounce the ‘aʊ=ow’ as in now diphthong.
Diphthongs are a combination of two sounds, so they have a starting position and an ending position.
- To start this sound, drop the jaw.
- The first sound is similar to the aa as in bat vowel.
- The tongue is wide and flat,
- The back stretches up a little bit.
- The tongue tip touches the back of the bottom front teeth.
- The upper lip might lift a little, or it will be relaxed.
- To transition into the second position, the lips round and the jaw drops less.
- The back of the tongue stretches up more.
- This second position is considered the same as the uh as in the ‘push’ vowel.
- But when it’s a part of a diphthong, the lips round more than when it occurs as a pure vowel.
Let’s feel this sound up close and in slow motion.
- Jaw drops. ‘aʊ=ow’
- Here, the upper lip pulls a little bit. The tongue lifts in the back.
- Now the lips come in and round as the jaw comes up. ‘aʊ=ow’
- The word ‘wound=[waʊnd]’.
- The lips start in a tight circle for the w,
- But then open out for the first position of the diphthong before rounding again for the second position of the diphthong.
- In a stressed syllable ‘wound=[waʊnd]’, the ‘aʊ=ow’ diphthong curves up then down. Wound, ‘aʊ=ow’.
- In an unstressed syllable, it’s lower and flatter in pitch, as well as quieter and quicker, ‘aʊ=ow’, ‘aʊ=ow’.
- The diphthong is unstressed in the word ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’, ‘aʊ=ow’.
- Let’s feel this word. ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’
- Jaw drops, but notice the top lip is relaxed, it doesn’t pull up. ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’
- The tongue is lifted in the back. ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’
- In the ending position, the lips aren’t quite as rounded as they were in the stressed version of this
- Here you feel the jaw drop in the first position of the diphthong, in stressed version, ‘wound=[waʊnd]’
- Notice that the jaw doesn’t drop as much for the unstressed diphthong, ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’.
- Here in the second position, ‘shutdown=[‘ʃʌt|,daʊn]’.
- The lips don’t round as much for the unstressed diphthong; they’re more relaxed.
- Generally, the unstressed version of a vowel or diphthong is more relaxed and often doesn’t take the full mouth position,
- In this case, less jaw drops and less lip rounding.
- This is because we don’t take as much time with unstressed syllables.
- They’re shorter, so we simplify the mouth movements. The ‘aʊ=ow’ diphthong,
- Stressed: wound, ‘aʊ=ow’
- Unstressed: shutdown, ‘aʊ=ow’
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