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Filologiya məsələləri, 2017



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Filologiya məsələləri, 2017 
 211
  There are differences between English and Azerbaijanian long vowels. Short 
vowels may become considerably longer in our native language. Azerbaijanian 
long vowels may occur only in certain positions in a word: in unstressed syllables 
and in non-final position. The long Azerbaijanian vowels differ from their short 
pairs in length only. All other characteristics are the same.  
   The English short vowels are checked. Their utterance is stopped abruptly 
without weaking of tenseness by the following consonant. That is why they occur 
only in closed syllables. All the English short vowels in stressed position are 
checked. [1] 
   Damirchizada writes: “ There are three kinds of vowel phonemes in 
Azerbaijanian language: neutral vowels, short vowels, long vowels. Short vowels 
are pronounced much shorter than the neutral vowels. Short vowels can be named 
as semivowels. The lose of a vowel when a suffix is added to the  root of a word 
is a sign. This sign shows that vowel is short vowel: boyun-boynu, burun-burnu. 
[2] 
Although the vowel /æ/ is a historically short one, there are some reasons for 
classing /æ/ rather together with the historically long vowels. These reasons are 
explained by A.C.Gimson in the following words: “ This traditionally short vowel 
appears to be lengthened in RP especially before the lenis consonants /m, n, b, d, 
g, ʤ/ . Though vowels are regularly longer before syllable-final lenis consonants 
than before fortis consonants, the lengthened /æ/ is equivalent in quantity to the 
longest varieties of /ɑ:, u:, i:, ɔ:, ɜ:/ . In terms of the system, this may be due to the 
increasing qualitative proximity in RP of /e/ and /æ/, the extra length serving as 
an additional distinctive feature. [3] 
   To make the dichotomy of the English long and short vowel phonemes 
complete and bring perfect symmetry into their system, it is convenient to 
consider /æ/ a long vowel. 
    The 12 English monophthongs may be divided into the following six 
phonemic pairs. Their members differ from each other in two respect: in quantity 
and in quality. 
     /i:-ı/ :    teen-tin, seen-sin, deem-dim 
     /ɑ:-ʌ/ :   barter-butter, dark-duck, bard-bud 
     /æ-e/ :   sad-said, sat-set, and-end, bat-bet 
     /u:-ʊ/ :   too-to,  fool-full, pool-pull 
     /ɔ:-o/ :  court-cot, porter-potter  
     /ɜ:-ə/ :   foreword-forward 
    There are no words or grammatical forms in English which are 
differentiated from each other by vowels of different length but of absolutely 
identical quality, quantitative differences cannot serve as a basis for a single 
phonological opposition in English.  
   There is only one pair of English vowel phonemes which have only this 
difference as their minimal distinctive feature, although slightly skewed 
vertically:/æ-ɑ:/ as in cad-card. The difference in length may be considered either 
non-exist if /æ/ is classed together with the historically long vowels, or non-


Filologiya məsələləri, 2017 
 212
distinctive, incidental if /æ/ is classed together with the historically short vowels. 
The slight vertical skew consists in /æ/ being a little higher than /ɑ:/.  
The American descriptivists treated the historically long English vowels as 
biphonemic combinations of a vowel+glide and thus liquidating the long vowels 
as phonemes. 
   British  phoneticians  refuse  to  apply the same procedure to long vowel 
phonemes in RP. They express at the same time different points of view on the 
distinctive relevance of vowel length in its relationship to vowel quality. For 
instance, D.Jones lays emphasis upon the distinctive importance of length. 
    He represents the system of the RP simple vowel phonemes: “ Four pairs of 
these vowels may be considered as belonging to single phonemes in one type of 
Southern English. The tamber of the English short i differs considerably from 
that of the English long i:. But in this kind of English the difference in tamber 
always coincides with a difference of length. i: is always longer than i when 
surrounded by the same sounds and pronounced with the same degree of stress. 
There is not much difference in tamber between the long ə: and the most 
frequently used short ə. There are eight pure vowel phonemes in Southern 
English: i, e, u, ə, ʌ, æ, ɔ, ɑ”. [3] 
     He writes: “ The absolute lengths of the English long vowels and diphthongs 
are very variable and depend on their situations in words and sentences. This 
fact may be stated in more technical language by saying that there are two 
‘chronemes’ (long and short) applicable to the vowels of the type of  English 
with which we are concerned here, and that each chroneme comprises several 
‘allochrones’.”   
     According to D.Jones, both vowels in the pairs /i:-i/ and in others like this are 
variants of one and the same phoneme, but each long vowel in these pairs 
belongs to the long chroneme while the short vowel belongs to the short 
chroneme. He says that both allochrones are represented by one and the same 
symbol of a phonemic, or linguistically broad, transcription, viz. i:, u, ɔ, ə and 
while the long chroneme is implied by the absence of the length mark. He 
doesn’t place the transcription symbols between brackets or slanting lines, 
instead, they are printed in heavy type. 
     The vowels themselves in each pair are variants of the same phoneme, the 
slight qualitative difference between them being subordinate to the difference of 
quantity. By allochrones are meant different degrees of length that a chroneme 
has when its carrier, a phoneme, occurs in different positions. 
     Although  chronemes as separate prosodic phonological units are known to 
exist in languages, English is not a language in which they really exist. 
    The English long chroneme can be pronounced fully long, halflong and short. 
     In  the  duration  of a speech sound a true chroneme is capable of 
differentiating meaningful units of language only when the quality of the sounds 
remains unchanged with a distinctive change of their length. A change in quality 
is demonstrably due to a distinctive change of quantity. 




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