Pronunciation Of Vowel “æ“

A Vowels Pronunciation Vowels Pronunciation

Pronunciation Of Vowel “æ“


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 æ=aa as in bat vowel.

This is a sound that changes depending on the following sound.

So, it can either be a pure vowel or a modified vowel. We’ll go over both in this article section, to make the pure æ=aa vowel.

(mouth position while you pronounce this vowel)

  • The jaw drops quite a bit, æ=aa.
  • The tip of the tongue stays forward; it’s touching the back of the bottom front teeth, æ=aa.
  • The back part of the tongue stretches up.
  • The tongue is wide, æ=aa. Because the tongue is high in the back and low in the front, you can feel a lot of it.
  • This is different from the ‘ɑ=ah’ as in the ‘father’ vowel.
  • For example, where the tongue presses down in the back and you feel more dark space in the mouth. Æ=aa, æ=aa.
  • You can also feel the corners of the mouth pull back and up a little bit. Æ=aa, æ=aa æ=aa.
  • Let’s feel the pure æ=aa, æ=aa vowel up close and in slow motion.
  • The tongue tip is down and the back of the tongue lifts.
  • Here’s the word ‘sat=sæt’.
  • The tongue position is easy to feel because of the jaw drop needed for this vowel.
  • When æ=aa is in a stressed syllable, the vowel will go up and come down in pitch, æ=aa. Sat, æ=aa.
  • In an unstressed syllable, the vowel is flatter and lower in pitch, quieter, æ=aa.
  • This vowel is unstressed in the second syllable of ‘backtrack’.
  • Now let’s feel close and in slow motion. Word- backtrack=[bæk,tɹæk]
  • In the first, stressed syllable [bæk], the jaw drops, and we feel the corners of the lips pull back and up for the stressed æ=aa.
  • In the unstressed syllable [tɹæk], the jaw drops less.
  • Let’s compare them.

On top is the stressed æ=aa in {back}. You can feel the jaw drops more.

For the unstressed æ=aa in [track], the corners of the lips are a little more relaxed than in the stressed version, where they pull slightly back and up.

  • Generally, the unstressed version of a vowel or diphthong is more relaxed and doesn’t take the full mouth position,
  • In this case, a little less jaw drop, and relaxed lips.
  • This is because unstressed syllables are shorter, so we don’t take the time to make the full position.
  • At the beginning of this article section, I wrote the æ=aa vowel is not always a pure æ=aa.
  • This vowel changes when it’s followed by a nasal consonant.
  • When it’s followed by the ‘m’ or ‘n’ sounds, the tongue relaxes in the back, making an uh sound after æ=aa. Aa-uh.
  • It’s (uh) not a pure æ=aa sound.
  • Unfortunately, this change is not represented in the international phonetic alphabet. It’s still written with the same æ=aa symbol.
  • So, you just have to know when it’s followed by [m] or [n], it’s different.
  • We don’t say ‘man’, æ=aa, ‘man’, with a pure æ=aa.
  • We say ‘man’, maa-uh-n, aa-uh (like- man=m-ai-n), relaxing the tongue and corners of the lips before the consonant.
  • You can think of this uh relaxation as the ‘uh’ as in the ‘butter’ sound or ə=schwa sound.
  • Let’s feel close and in slow motion at the word ‘exam=[ɪg’zæm]’.
  • First, we feel the familiar shape of the mouth when the æ=aa is in a stressed syllable.
  • Watch in the mirror how the relaxation happens: the corners of the lips relax ‘exam=[ɪg’zæm]’
  • The tongue will relax down in the back. And the lips close for the ‘m’ consonant. ‘exam=[ɪg’zæm]’
  • This relaxation of the corner of the lips and back of the tongue happens when the æ=aa vowel is followed by the n consonant as well.
  • For example, the word ‘hand’. Haa-uh-nd. Hand.
  • So, when you feel this [æ] symbol, followed by this [m] symbol or this [n] symbol, it’s no longer a pure æ=aa.
  • Think of relaxing out of the vowel, aa-uh.
  • If the next sound is the ŋ=ng consonant, it’s a little different. Rather than ‘æ=aa- uh’, the vowel changes into eɪ=ay.
  • It’s really like the eɪ=ay as in ‘say’ diphthong.
  • First, the middle part of the tongue lifts towards the roof of the mouth, [say], then the front part of the tongue.
  • Let’s watch in the mirror ‘[gæŋ]=gang’ up close and in slow motion.
  • The position for the first sound feels a lot like æ=aa, but the part of the tongue lifting up is more forward. G-æ=aa-æ=aa-ŋ=ng gang.
  • Then the front part of the tongue arches up towards the roof of the mouth, while the tongue tip remains down.
  • When you see this [æ] symbol followed by this [ŋ] symbol, it’s no longer a pure æ=aa. It’s more like ‘eɪ=ay’. Like- gang, thanks.
  • Now pure stressed æ=aa: like- sat, æ=aa [say in slow speed], s-æ-t
  • Pure unstressed æ=aa: like- backtrack, æ=aa æ=aa, [say quickly], [bæk,tɹæk]

S-æ=aa-t. (slowly)

  • æ=aa vowel modified by m: like ‘exam’,aa-uh
  • æ=aa vowel modified by n: like ‘man’, aa-uh
  • æ=aa vowel modified by ng: like ‘gang’, ay


Example words.

Chapter=[‘tʃæp təɹ], (stressed)

Can=[læn], (stressed)






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