long a, long e, and long i
The long a, long i, and long e sounds are all related to the English y sound. The long a and long i are both two-sound vowels that end in a y sound (a two-sound vowel is a vowel sound that includes a y sound or a w sound in the pronunciation). The long e is a single-sound vowel with a tongue position very similar to that of a y sound.
Compare the long a and long i sounds
long a/long i illustration
The long a and long i are two-sound vowels that both end in a sound similar to a y sound.
To create a long a sound:
- the tongue begins pushed forward, at a neutral height
- as the jaw closes slightly, the body of the tongue moves upward toward the tooth ridge (similar to the movements used to create a y sound)
To create a long i sound:
- the tongue is low (touching the bottom, side teeth)
- as the jaw closes slightly, the body of the tongue moves upward toward the tooth ridge (similar again to the movement used to create a y sound)
Compare the long e to the final part of the long a and long i
The long e is the vowel sound closest to the y sound, and is very similar to the final part of the long a and long i sounds.
To create a long e sound:
- the jaw is kept relatively closed
- the body of the tongue is close to the tooth ridge
- the sides of the tongue touch the top teeth on both sides of the mouth
The space between the tongue and the tooth ridge is more constricted during the pronunciation of the y sound than it is during the long e.
Compare long a, long i, and long e
long a/long i/long e illustration
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