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Glides and Diphthongs

All material in this site from: 

Your Voice and Articulation by Ethel C. Glenn, Phillip J. Glenn, and Sandra Forman

4th edition, Allyn and Bacon, 1998

This page is dedicated to the production of the GLIDE and DIPTHONG sounds.

Click on symbols below to go to practice area.

is a voiceless, bilabial glide
is a voiced, bilabial glide
is a voiced, lingua-velar glide
is a voiced, lingua-postalveolar glide
is a voiced, lingua-alveolar glide

Diphthongs combine two pure vowel sounds into a single distinguishable phoneme.  

The following are the five Standard American English diphthongs.

as in "aim"
as in "mine"
as in "toy"
as in "cow"
as in "mow"

 

.

  is a voiceless, bilabial glide
To form the consonant , round the lips almost into a pucker and blow air through them in a fricative action that approximates .  Then glide the lips into the  position while moving the tongue and other articulators toward the subsequent vowel sound.   is voiceless.
click for  sound

Positions:

Frontal

Medial Final

 does not appear in the final position.

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 is a voiced, bilabial glide
To form the consonant , round the lips into a pucker and begin vocal fold vibration.  Then glide the lips while moving the tongue and other articulators toward the position of whatever vowel follows.   is voiced.
   click for sound

Positions:

Frontal

Medial Final

 does not appear in the final position.

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  is a voiced, lingua-velar glide
The high front glideis produced by raising the front of the tongue toward the hard palate and pressing the blades of the tongue against the alveolar ridge.  Like  and , the tongue then moves toward the position for the sound that is to follow.  is voiced.
   click for sound

Positions:

Frontal

Medial Final

  does not appear in the final position.

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  is a voiced, lingua-postalveolar glide
  is formed in different ways by different speakers; therefore it is hard to describe its production precisely.  In general, the tongue is raised toward the front of the hard palate and the lips and teeth are brought close together.  Phonation is begun, and the articulators begin the characteristic glide toward the vowel that follows the .   is voiced.
   click for  sound

Positions:

Frontal

Medial, preceded by: Final

Vowel Consonant
Vowels followed by

  

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.

  is a voiced, lingua-alveolar glide
 To form the consonant , curl the tongue tip and press it against the alveolar ridge.  Lower the sides of the tongue to allow the breath stream to escape laterally rather than across the front of the tongue.  This is why is classified as a lateral as well as a glide  The resonant quality of changes considerably depending upon where the sound occurs in the word, since the position of the articulators moves to adjust to the preceding or following sound.  is voiced.
   click for  sound

Positions:

Frontal

Medial, preceded by: Final

Vowel Consonant

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.

Diphthongs:  Remember they are the combination of two pure sounds to make a third sound.

 
To form the diphthong , open the jaw, relax the lips, and moderately tense the tongue.  Close the jaw slightly as the tongue glides up from the midfront position for to the high position for .
   click for  sound

Orthographic spellings:

a - paper

ea - yea
ay - bay
eigh - weigh
ey - prey
ai - bail
ei - heinous
e - crepe

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.

To form the diphthong , open the jaw; keep the lips unrounded and the tongue low and flat in the mouth.  The articulators glide upward from the low position or , to the high front position for .  
   click for sound

Orthographic spellings:

i = bright

igh = sigh
y = try
eye = eye
uy = buy
ai = Cairo
ei = heist
ie = hieroglyphics
oi = choir
is = isle
ui = guide

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.

To form the diphthong , open the jaw, slightly round the lips, and tense the tongue for the back vowel .  Then close the jaw slightly and unround the lips as the tongue shifts forward to the high front position for .  
   click forsound

Orthographic spellings:

oi = boil

oy = oyster
eu = Freud
aw = lawyer

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.

To form, open the jaw, relax the lips, and keep the tongue low and flat for the low vowels   and  .  Then close the jaw and tense and round the lips as the tongue glides upward to the high back vowel .  
   click forsound

Orthographic spellings:

ow = how
ou = rout
ough = drought
au = sauerkraut

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.

To form , open the jaw, round the lips, and moderately tense the tongue in the midback position for .  The jaw then closes and the lips tense and become more rounded as the tongue moves upward to the high back vowel
   click for sound

Orthographic spellings:

o = go
oa = oat
oe = doe
ough = dough
eau = beau
ow = know
ou = soul

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