히든위키 코리아

틀:For 틀:Use dmy dates 틀:IPA notice 틀:Wiktionary

파일:En-us-no highway cowboys.ogg
American English pronunciation of no highway cowboys, showing five diphthongs: 틀:IPAc-en

A diphthong (틀:IPAc-en 틀:Respell or 틀:IPAc-en 틀:Respell;[1] from Greek: 틀:Lang, diphthongos, literally "double sound" or "double tone"), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel sounds within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: that is, the tongue (and/or other parts of the speech apparatus) moves during the pronunciation of the vowel. In many dialects of English, the phrase no highway cowboys 틀:IPAc-en has five distinct diphthongs, one in every syllable.

Diphthongs contrast with monophthongs, where the tongue or other speech organs do not move and the syllable contains only a single vowel sound. For instance, in English, the word ah is spoken as a monophthong (틀:IPAc-en), while the word ow is spoken as a diphthong in most dialects (틀:IPAc-en). Where two adjacent vowel sounds occur in different syllables—for example, in the English word re-elect—the result is described as hiatus, not as a diphthong.

Diphthongs often form when separate vowels are run together in rapid speech during a conversation. However, there are also unitary diphthongs, as in the English examples above, which are heard by listeners as single-vowel sounds (phonemes).[2]

Diphthongs use two vowel sounds in one syllable to make a speech sound.[3]


In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), monophthongs are transcribed with one symbol, as in English sun 틀:IPA, in which 틀:Angbr represents a monophthong. Diphthongs are transcribed with two symbols, as in English high 틀:IPA or cow 틀:IPA, in which 틀:Angbr and 틀:Angbr represent diphthongs.

Diphthongs may be transcribed with two vowel symbols or with a vowel symbol and a semivowel symbol. In the words above, the less prominent member of the diphthong can be represented with the symbols for the palatal approximant 틀:IPA and the labiovelar approximant 틀:IPA, with the symbols for the close vowels 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA, or the symbols for the near-close vowels 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA:

vowel and semivowel 틀:Angbr broader transcription
two vowel symbols 틀:Angbr
틀:Angbr narrower transcription

Some transcriptions are broader or narrower (less precise or more precise phonetically) than others. Transcribing the English diphthongs in high and cow as 틀:Angbr or 틀:Angbr is a less precise or broader transcription, since these diphthongs usually end in a vowel sound that is opener than the semivowels 틀:IPA or the close vowels 틀:IPA. Transcribing the diphthongs as 틀:Angbr is a more precise or narrower transcription, since the English diphthongs usually end in the near-close vowels 틀:IPA.

The non-syllabic diacritic, the inverted breve below 틀:Angbr,[4] is placed under the less prominent part of a diphthong to show that it is part of a diphthong rather than a vowel in a separate syllable: 틀:IPA. When there is no contrastive vowel sequence in the language, the diacritic may be omitted. Other common indications that the two letters are not separate vowels are a superscript, 틀:Angle bracket,[5] or a tie bar, 틀:Angle bracket or 틀:Angle bracket.[6] The tie bar can be useful when it is not clear which letter represents the syllable nucleus, or when they have equal weight.[7] Superscripts are especially used when an on- or off-glide is particularly fleeting.[8]

The period 틀:Angbr is the opposite of the non-syllabic diacritic: it represents a syllable break. If two vowels next to each other belong to two different syllables (hiatus), meaning that they do not form a diphthong, they can be transcribed with two vowel symbols with a period in between. Thus, lower can be transcribed 틀:Angbr, with a period separating the first syllable, 틀:IPAc-en, from the second syllable, 틀:IPAc-en.

The non-syllabic diacritic is only used when necessary. It is typically omitted when there is no ambiguity, as in 틀:Angbr. No words in English have the vowel sequences 틀:IPA, so the non-syllabic diacritic is unnecessary.


Falling and rising

Falling (or descending) diphthongs start with a vowel quality of higher prominence (higher pitch or volume) and end in a semivowel with less prominence, like 틀:IPA in eye, while rising (or ascending) diphthongs begin with a less prominent semivowel and end with a more prominent full vowel, similar to the 틀:IPA in yard. (Note that "falling" and "rising" in this context do not refer to vowel height; for that, the terms "opening" and "closing" are used instead. See below.) The less prominent component in the diphthong may also be transcribed as an approximant, thus 틀:IPA in eye and 틀:IPA in yard. However, when the diphthong is analysed as a single phoneme, both elements are often transcribed with vowel letters (틀:IPA, 틀:IPA). Note also that semivowels and approximants are not equivalent in all treatments, and in the English and Italian languages, among others, many phoneticians do not consider rising combinations to be diphthongs, but rather sequences of approximant and vowel. There are many languages (such as Romanian) that contrast one or more rising diphthongs with similar sequences of a glide and a vowel in their phonetic inventory[9] (see semivowel for examples).

Closing, opening, and centering

파일:Belgian Dutch diphthongs chart.svg
Vowel diagram illustrating closing diphthongs of Belgian Standard Dutch, from 틀:Harvcoltxt
파일:Orsmaal-Gussenhoven Dutch centering diphthongs chart.svg
Vowel diagram illustrating centering diphthongs of the Dutch dialect of Orsmaal-Gussenhoven, from 틀:Harvcoltxt

In closing diphthongs, the second element is more close than the first (e.g. 틀:IPA); in opening diphthongs, the second element is more open (e.g. 틀:IPA). Closing diphthongs tend to be falling (틀:IPA), and opening diphthongs are generally rising (틀:IPA),[10] as open vowels are more sonorous and therefore tend to be more prominent. However, exceptions to this rule are not rare in the world's languages. In Finnish, for instance, the opening diphthongs 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA are true falling diphthongs, since they begin louder and with higher pitch and fall in prominence during the diphthong.

A third, rare type of diphthong that is neither opening nor closing is height-harmonic diphthongs, with both elements at the same vowel height.[11] These occurred in Old English:

A centering diphthong is one that begins with a more peripheral vowel and ends with a more central one, such as 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, and 틀:IPA in Received Pronunciation or 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA in Irish. Many centering diphthongs are also opening diphthongs (틀:IPA, 틀:IPA).

Diphthongs may contrast in how far they open or close. For example, Samoan contrasts low-to-mid with low-to-high diphthongs:

Narrow and wide

Narrow diphthongs are the ones that end with a vowel which on a vowel chart is quite close to the one that begins the diphthong, for example Northern Dutch 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA. Wide diphthongs are the opposite - they require a greater tongue movement, and their offsets are farther away from their starting points on the vowel chart. Examples of wide diphthongs are RP/GA English 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA.


Languages differ in the length of diphthongs, measured in terms of morae. In languages with phonemically short and long vowels, diphthongs typically behave like long vowels, and are pronounced with a similar length.[12]틀:Citation needed In languages with only one phonemic length for pure vowels, however, diphthongs may behave like pure vowels.틀:Citation needed For example, in Icelandic, both monophthongs and diphthongs are pronounced long before single consonants and short before most consonant clusters.

Some languages contrast short and long diphthongs. In some languages, such as Old English, these behave like short and long vowels, occupying one and two morae, respectively. Languages that contrast three quantities in diphthongs are extremely rare, but not unheard of; Northern Sami is known to contrast long, short and "finally stressed" diphthongs, the last of which are distinguished by a long second element.틀:Citation needed


In some languages, diphthongs are single phonemes, while in others they are analyzed as sequences of two vowels, or of a vowel and a semivowel.

Sound changes

Certain sound changes relate to diphthongs and monophthongs. Vowel breaking or diphthongization is a vowel shift in which a monophthong becomes a diphthong. Monophthongization or smoothing is a vowel shift in which a diphthong becomes a monophthong.

Difference from a vowel and semivowel

While there are a number of similarities, diphthongs are not the same phonologically as a combination of a vowel and an approximant or glide. Most importantly, diphthongs are fully contained in the syllable nucleus[13][14] while a semivowel or glide is restricted to the syllable boundaries (either the onset or the coda). This often manifests itself phonetically by a greater degree of constriction,[15] though the phonetic distinction is not always clear.[16] The English word yes, for example, consists of a palatal glide followed by a monophthong rather than a rising diphthong. In addition, the segmental elements must be different in diphthongs so that 틀:IPA, when it occurs in a language, does not contrast with 틀:IPA though it is possible for languages to contrast 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA.[17]


Germanic languages


틀:See also

In words coming from Middle English, most cases of the Modern English diphthongs 틀:IPA originate from the Middle English long monophthongs 틀:IPA through the Great Vowel Shift, although some cases of 틀:IPA originate from the Middle English diphthongs 틀:IPA.

Standard English diphthongs
RP (British) Australian North American
GenAm Canadian
low 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 1]
loud 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 2]
lout 틀:IPA[t2 3]
lied 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 4]
light 틀:IPA[t2 3]
lay 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 1]
loin 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA
loon 틀:IPA[t2 5] 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 5]
lean 틀:IPA[t2 5] 틀:IPA[t2 5] 틀:IPA[t2 5]
leer 틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 6]
lair 틀:IPA[t2 7] 틀:IPA[t2 8] 틀:IPA[t2 6]
lure 틀:IPA[t2 7] 틀:IPA 틀:IPA[t2 6]



Diphthongs of Dutch
Netherlandic[18] Belgian[19]
zeis, ijs 틀:IPA
ui 틀:IPA
zout, lauw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA
leeuw 틀:IPA
nieuw 틀:IPA
duw 틀:IPA
dooi 틀:IPA
saai 틀:IPA
loei 틀:IPA
beet[t1 1] 틀:IPA 틀:IPA
neus[t1 1] 틀:IPA 틀:IPA
boot[t1 1] 틀:IPA 틀:IPA


The dialect of Hamont (in Limburg) has five centring diphthongs and contrasts long and short forms of 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, and 틀:IPA.[20]


Standard German

Phonemic diphthongs in German:

In the varieties of German that vocalize the 틀:IPA in the syllable coda, other diphthongal combinations may occur. These are only phonetic diphthongs, not phonemic diphthongs, since the vocalic pronunciation 틀:IPA alternates with consonantal pronunciations of 틀:IPA if a vowel follows, cf. du hörst 틀:IPA ‘you hear’ – ich höre 틀:IPA ‘I hear’. These phonetic diphthongs may be as follows:

파일:German ɐ diphthongs chart - part 1.svg
German diphthongs ending in 틀:IPA (part 1), from 틀:Harvcoltxt
파일:German ɐ diphthongs chart - part 2.svg
German diphthongs ending in 틀:IPA (part 2), from 틀:Harvcoltxt
Diphthong Example
Phonemically Phonetically IPA Orthography Translation
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA wir we
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA für for
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA Urlaub holiday
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA wird he/she/it becomes
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA Würde dignity
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA wurde I/he/she/it became
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA mehr more
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA hör! (you) hear!
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA Tor gate/goal (in football)
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA Bär bear
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA Erft Erft
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA dörrt he/she/it dries
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA Norden north
틀:IPA 틀:IPA틀:Ref 틀:IPA wahr true
틀:IPA 틀:IPA 틀:IPA hart hard
틀:Note틀:Harvcoltxt notes that the length contrast is not very stable before non-prevocalic 틀:IPA[21] and that "틀:Harvcoltxt, following the pronouncing dictionaries (틀:Harvcoltxt, 틀:Harvcoltxt) judge the vowel in Art, Schwert, Fahrt to be long, while the vowel in Ort, Furcht, hart is supposed to be short. The factual basis of this presumed distinction seems very questionable."[21][22] He goes on stating that in his own dialect, there is no length difference in these words, and that judgements on vowel length in front of non-prevocalic 틀:IPA which is itself vocalized are problematic, in particular if 틀:IPA precedes.[21]
According to the 'lengthless' analysis, the aforementioned 'long' diphthongs are analyzed as 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA. This makes non-prevocalic 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA homophonous as 틀:IPA or 틀:IPA. Non-prevocalic 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA may also merge, but the vowel chart in 틀:Harvcoltxt shows that they have somewhat different starting points.
틀:Harvcoltxt also states that "laxing of the vowel is predicted to take place in shortened vowels; it does indeed seem to go hand in hand with the vowel shortening in many cases."[21]
Bernese German

The diphthongs of some German dialects differ from standard German diphthongs. The Bernese German diphthongs, for instance, correspond rather to the Middle High German diphthongs than to standard German diphthongs:

Apart from these phonemic diphthongs, Bernese German has numerous phonetic diphthongs due to L-vocalization in the syllable coda, for instance the following ones:


Yiddish has three diphthongs:[23]

Diphthongs may reach a higher target position (towards 틀:IPA) in situations of coarticulatory phenomena or when words with such vowels are being emphasized.


There are five diphthongs in the Oslo dialect of Norwegian, all of them falling:

An additional diphthong, 틀:IPA, occurs only in the word hui in the expression i hui og hast "in great haste". The number and form of diphthongs vary between dialects.


Diphthongs in Faroese are:


Diphthongs in Icelandic are the following:

  • 틀:IPA as in átta, "eight"
  • 틀:IPA as in nóg, "enough"
  • 틀:IPA as in auga, "eye"
  • 틀:IPA as in kær, "dear"
  • 틀:IPA as in þeir, "they"
  • 틀:IPA as in koja, "bunk bed", "berth" (rare, only in handful of words)

Combinations of semivowel 틀:IPA and a vowel are the following:

  • 틀:IPA as in éta, "eat"
  • 틀:IPA as in jata, "manger"
  • 틀:IPA as in , "yes"
  • 틀:IPA as in joð, "iodine", "jay", "yod" (only in a handful of words of foreign origin)
  • 틀:IPA as in jól, "Christmas"
  • 틀:IPA as in jötunn, "giant"
  • 틀:IPA as in jæja, "oh well"
  • 틀:IPA as in , "yes"

Romance languages


In French, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA, 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA may be considered true diphthongs (that is, fully contained in the syllable nucleus: 틀:IPA). Other sequences are considered part of a glide formation process that turns a high vowel into a semivowel (and part of the syllable onset) when followed by another vowel.[24]



Quebec French

틀:Main In Quebec French, long vowels are generally diphthongized in informal speech when stressed.


Catalan possesses a number of phonetic diphthongs, all of which begin (rising diphthongs) or end (falling diphthongs) in 틀:IPA or 틀:IPA.[25]

Catalan diphthongs
틀:IPA aigua 'water' 틀:IPA taula 'table'
틀:IPA mainada 'children' 틀:IPA caurem 'we will fall'
틀:IPA remei 'remedy' 틀:IPA peu 'foot'
틀:IPA rei 'king' 틀:IPA seu 'his/her'
틀:IPA niu 'nest'
틀:IPA noi 'boy' 틀:IPA nou 'new'
틀:IPA jou 'yoke'
틀:IPA avui 'today' 틀:IPA duu 'he/she is carrying'
틀:IPA iaia 'grandma' 틀:IPA quatre 'four'
틀:IPA veiem 'we see' 틀:IPA seqüència 'sequence'
틀:IPA seient 'seat' 틀:IPA ungüent 'ointment'
틀:IPA feia 'he/she was doing' 틀:IPA qüestió 'question'
틀:IPA pingüí 'penguin'
틀:IPA iode 'iodine' 틀:IPA quota 'payment'
틀:IPA iogurt 'yoghurt'

In standard Eastern Catalan, rising diphthongs (that is, those starting with 틀:IPA or 틀:IPA) are only possible in the following contexts:[26]

  • 틀:IPAblink in word initial position, e.g. iogurt.
  • Both occur between vowels as in feia and veiem.
  • In the sequences 틀:IPA or 틀:IPA and vowel, e.g. guant, quota, qüestió, pingüí (these exceptional cases even lead some scholars[27] to hypothesize the existence of rare labiovelar phonemes 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA).[28]

There are also certain instances of compensatory diphthongization in the Majorcan dialect so that 틀:IPA ('logs') (in addition to deleting the palatal plosive) develops a compensating palatal glide and surfaces as 틀:IPA (and contrasts with the unpluralized 틀:IPA). Diphthongization compensates for the loss of the palatal stop (part of Catalan's segment loss compensation). There are other cases where diphthongization compensates for the loss of point of articulation features (property loss compensation) as in 틀:IPA ('year') vs 틀:IPA ('years').[29] The dialectal distribution of this compensatory diphthongization is almost entirely dependent on the dorsal plosive (whether it is velar or palatal) and the extent of consonant assimilation (whether or not it is extended to palatals).[30]


틀:Main The Portuguese diphthongs are formed by the labio-velar approximant 틀:IPA and palatal approximant 틀:IPA with a vowel,[31] European Portuguese has 14 phonemic diphthongs (10 oral and 4 nasal),[32] all of which are falling diphthongs formed by a vowel and a nonsyllabic high vowel. Brazilian Portuguese has roughly the same amount, although the European and non-European dialects have slightly different pronunciations (틀:IPA is a distinctive feature of some southern and central Portuguese dialects, especially that of Lisbon). A 틀:IPA onglide after 틀:IPA or 틀:IPA and before all vowels as in quando 틀:IPA ('when') or guarda 틀:IPA ('guard') may also form rising diphthongs and triphthongs. Additionally, in casual speech, adjacent heterosyllabic vowels may combine into diphthongs and triphthongs or even sequences of them.[33]

Falling diphthongs of Portuguese
sai 틀:IPA mau 틀:IPA
sei 틀:IPA 틀:IPA meu 틀:IPA
anéis 틀:IPA véu 틀:IPA
viu 틀:IPA
mói 틀:IPA
moita 틀:IPA dou 틀:IPA
fui 틀:IPA
mãe 틀:IPA 틀:IPA mão 틀:IPA
cem 틀:IPA
anões 틀:IPA
muita 틀:IPA

In addition, phonetic diphthongs are formed in most Brazilian Portuguese dialects by the vocalization of 틀:IPA in the syllable coda with words like sol 틀:IPA ('sun') and sul 틀:IPA ('south') as well as by yodization of vowels preceding 틀:IPAslink or its allophone at syllable coda 틀:IPA in terms like arroz 틀:IPA ('rice'),[33] and 틀:IPAslink (or 틀:IPA) in terms such as paz mundial 틀:IPA ('world peace') and dez anos 틀:IPA ('ten years').


Phonetically, Spanish has seven falling diphthongs and eight rising diphthongs. In addition, during fast speech, sequences of vowels in hiatus become diphthongs wherein one becomes non-syllabic (unless they are the same vowel, in which case they fuse together) as in poeta 틀:IPA ('poet') and maestro 틀:IPA ('teacher'). The Spanish diphthongs are:[34][35]

Spanish diphthongs
틀:IPA aire 'air' 틀:IPA pausa 'pause'
틀:IPA rey 'king' 틀:IPA neutro 'neutral'
틀:IPA hoy 'today' 틀:IPA bou 'seine fishing'
틀:IPA muy 'very'
틀:IPA hacia 'towards' 틀:IPA cuadro 'picture'
틀:IPA tierra 'earth' 틀:IPA fuego 'fire'
틀:IPA fuimos 'we went'
틀:IPA radio 'radio' 틀:IPA cuota 'quota'
틀:IPA viuda 'widow'


The existence of true diphthongs in Italian is debatable; however, a list is:[36]

Italian diphthongs
틀:IPA baita 'mountain hut' 틀:IPA auto 'car'
틀:IPA potei 'I could' (past tense) 틀:IPA pleurite 'pleurisy'
틀:IPA sei 'six' 틀:IPA neutro 'neuter'
틀:IPA poi 'later'
틀:IPA voi 'you' (pl.)
틀:IPA lui 'he'
틀:IPA chiave 'key' 틀:IPA guado 'ford'
틀:IPA pieno 'full' 틀:IPA quercia 'oak'
틀:IPA soffietto 'bellows' 틀:IPA quello 'that'
틀:IPA guida 'guide'
틀:IPA chiodo 'nail' 틀:IPA quota 'quota'
틀:IPA fiore 'flower' 틀:IPA acquoso 'watery'
틀:IPA piuma 'feather'

The second table includes only 'false' diphthongs, being they composed by a semivowel + a vowel, not two vowels. The situation is more nuanced in the first table: a word such as 'baita' is actually pronounced ['baj.ta] and most speakers would syllabify it that way. A word such as 'voi' would instead be pronounced and syllabified as ['vo.i], yet again without a diphthong.

In general, unstressed 틀:IPA in hiatus can turn into glides in more rapid speech (e.g. biennale 틀:IPA 'biennial'; coalizione 틀:IPA 'coalition') with the process occurring more readily in syllables further from stress.[37]


틀:Main Romanian has two true diphthongs: 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA. There are however a host of other vowel combinations ( more than any other romance language) which are classed as vowel glides. As a result of their origin (diphthongization of mid vowels under stress), the two true diphthongs appear only in stressed syllables[38] and make morphological alternations with the mid vowels 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA. To native speakers, they sound very similar to 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA respectively.[39] There are no perfect minimal pairs to contrast 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA,[9] and because 틀:IPA doesn't appear in the final syllable of a prosodic word, there are no monosyllabic words with 틀:IPA; exceptions might include voal ('veil') and trotuar ('sidewalk'), though Ioana Chițoran argues[40] that these are best treated as containing glide-vowel sequences rather than diphthongs. In addition to these, the semivowels 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA can be combined (either before, after, or both) with most vowels, while this arguably[41] forms additional diphthongs and triphthongs, only 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA can follow an obstruent-liquid cluster such as in broască ('frog') and dreagă ('to mend').[42] implying that 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA are restricted to the syllable boundary and therefore, strictly speaking, do not form diphthongs.

Celtic languages


All Irish diphthongs are falling.

  • 틀:IPA, spelled aigh, aidh, agh, adh, eagh, eadh, eigh, or eidh
  • 틀:IPA, spelled abh, amh, eabh, or eamh
  • 틀:IPA, spelled ia, iai
  • 틀:IPA, spelled ua, uai

Scottish Gaelic

There are 9 diphthongs in Scottish Gaelic. Group 1 occur anywhere (eu is usually [eː] before -m, e.g. Seumas). Group 2 are reflexes that occur before -ll, -m, -nn, -bh, -dh, -gh and -mh.

Spellings Examples
1 틀:IPA ia iarr "ask"
틀:IPA ua fuar "cold"
틀:IPA eu beul "mouth"
2 틀:IPA ai saill "grease", cainnt "speech", aimhreit "riot"
틀:IPA ei seinn "sing"
틀:IPA oi, ei, ai loinn "badge", greim "bite", saighdear "soldier"
틀:IPA ui, aoi druim "back", aoibhneas "joy"
틀:IPA a, ea cam "crooked", ceann "head"
틀:IPA o tom "mound", donn "brown"

For more detailed explanations of Gaelic diphthongs see Scottish Gaelic orthography.


The following diphthongs are used in the Standard Written Form of Cornish. Each diphthong is given with its Revived Middle Cornish (RMC) and Revived Late Cornish (RLC) pronunciation.

Graph RMC RLC Example
aw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA glaw "rain"
ay 틀:IPA 틀:IPA bay "kiss"
ew 틀:IPA blew "hair"
ey 틀:IPA 틀:IPA bleydh "wolf"
iw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA liw "colour"
ow 틀:IPA lowen "happy"
oy 틀:IPA moy "more"
uw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA duw "god"
yw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA byw "alive"


Welsh is traditionally divided into Northern and Southern dialects. In the north, some diphthongs may be short or long according to regular vowel length rules but in the south they are always short (see Welsh phonology). Southern dialects tend to simplify diphthongs in speech (e.g. gwaith 틀:IPA is reduced to 틀:IPA).

Grapheme North South Example
ae 틀:IPA 틀:IPA maen 'stone'
ai 틀:IPA gwaith 'work'
au 틀:IPA haul 'sun'
aw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA mawr 'big'
ei 틀:IPA 틀:IPA gweithio 'to work'
eu 틀:IPA treulio 'spend'
ey teyrn 'tyrant'
ew 틀:IPA 틀:IPA tew 'fat'
oe 틀:IPA 틀:IPA moel 'bald'
ou cyffrous 'excited'
oi 틀:IPA troi 'turn'
ow 틀:IPA 틀:IPA brown 'brown'
wy 틀:IPA 틀:IPA pwyll 'sense'
iw 틀:IPA 틀:IPA lliw 'colour'
uw 틀:IPA duw 'god'
yw llyw 'rudder'
틀:IPA 틀:IPA tywydd 'weather'
† The plural ending -au is reduced to /a/ in the north and /e/ in the south, e.g. cadau 'battles' is /ˈkada/ (north) or /ˈkade/ (south).

Slavic languages


There are three diphthongs in Czech:

  • 틀:IPA as in auto (almost exclusively in words of foreign origin)
  • 틀:IPA as in euro (in words of foreign origin only)
  • 틀:IPA as in koule

The vowel groups ia, ie, ii, io, and iu in foreign words are not regarded as diphthongs, they are pronounced with 틀:IPA between the vowels 틀:IPA.


  • i(j)e, as in mlijeko[43]

is conventionally considered a diphthong. However, it is actually 틀:IPA in hiatus or separated by a semivowel, 틀:IPA.

Some Serbo-Croatian dialects also have uo, as in kuonj, ruod, uon[44] whereas, in Standard Croatian and Serbian, these words are konj, rod, on.

Finno-Ugric languages



All nine vowels can appear as the first component of an Estonian diphthong, but only 틀:IPA occur as the second component.

Common Estonian diphthongs
틀:IPA aed
"fence, garden"
틀:IPA lai
틀:IPA kaotama
"to lose"
틀:IPA laud
틀:IPA teadma
"to know"
틀:IPA leib
틀:IPA teostus
틀:IPA kiuste
"in spite of"
틀:IPA toa
(s. possessive)
틀:IPA koer
틀:IPA toit
틀:IPA kui
"when, if"
틀:IPA nõel
틀:IPA õige
"right, correct"
틀:IPA tõotus
틀:IPA lõug
틀:IPA päev
틀:IPA täis
틀:IPA näo
"face" (s. possessive)
틀:IPA söed
틀:IPA köis

There are additional diphthongs less commonly used, such as 틀:IPA in Euroopa (Europe), 틀:IPA in söandama (to dare), and 틀:IPA in näuguma (to mew).


틀:Main All Finnish diphthongs are falling. Notably, Finnish has true opening diphthongs (e.g. 틀:IPA), which are not very common crosslinguistically compared to centering diphthongs (e.g. 틀:IPA in English). Vowel combinations across syllables may in practice be pronounced as diphthongs, when an intervening consonant has elided, as in näön 틀:IPA instead of 틀:IPA for the genitive of näkö ('sight').


Northern Sami

The diphthong system in Northern Sami varies considerably from one dialect to another. The Western Finnmark dialects distinguish four different qualities of opening diphthongs:

In terms of quantity, Northern Sami shows a three-way contrast between long, short and finally stressed diphthongs. The last are distinguished from long and short diphthongs by a markedly long and stressed second component. Diphthong quantity is not indicated in spelling.

Semitic languages


Maltese has seven falling diphthongs, though they may be considered VC sequences phonemically.[45]

Sino-Tibetan languages

Mandarin Chinese

Rising sequences in Mandarin are usually regarded as a combination of a medial semivowel (틀:IPA) plus a vowel, while falling sequences are regarded as one diphthong.

  • ai: 틀:IPA, as in ài (愛, love)
  • ei: 틀:IPA, as in lèi (累, tired)
  • ao: 틀:IPA, as in dào (道, way)
  • ou: 틀:IPA, as in dòu (豆, bean)


Cantonese has eleven diphthongs.

  • aai: 틀:IPA, as in gaai1 (街, street)
  • aau: 틀:IPA, as in baau3 (爆, explode)
  • ai: 틀:IPA, as in gai1 (雞, chicken)
  • au: 틀:IPA, as in au1 (勾, hook)
  • ei: 틀:IPA, as in gei1 (機, machine)
  • eu: 틀:IPA, as in deu6 (掉, throw)
  • iu: 틀:IPA, as in giu3 (叫, call)
  • oi: 틀:IPA, as in oi3 (愛, love)
  • ou: 틀:IPA, as in gou1 (高, high)
  • ui: 틀:IPA, as in pui4 (陪, accompany)
  • eui: 틀:IPA, as in zeoi3 (醉, drunk)

Tai–Kadai languages


In addition to vowel nuclei following or preceding 틀:IPA and 틀:IPA, Thai has three diphthongs which exist as long-short pairs:[46]

Mon-Khmer languages


In addition to vowel nuclei following or preceding /j/ and /w/, Vietnamese has three diphthongs:


Khmer language has rich vocalics with an extra distinction of long and short register to the vowels and diphthongs.

Bantu languages


Zulu has only monophthongs. Y and w are semi-vowels:

Austronesian languages


Indonesian languages, particularly the lingua franca of Indonesian, have only a few diphthongs and are located at end of the words, mainly due to Arabic influences:

  • /ai/ the diphthong is pronounced as the long vowels /e/ as in pantai "beach"
  • /au/ the diphthong is pronounced as the long vowels /o/ as in atau "or"

See also




  • 틀:Dictionary.com
  • definition of 'Diphthong' on SIL International, accessed 17 January 2008
  • 틀:Cite web
  • FileFormat.Info, page on combining inverted breve below
  • Used e.g. by 틀:Citation The author states that the Afrikaans diphthongs 틀:IPA can be transcribed 틀:IPA.
  • Used e.g. by 틀:Citation. The author transcribes the diphthongs 틀:Angbr as 틀:IPA. However, on page 36, he admits that phonetically, 틀:IPA are more precise symbols.
  • Battisti (2000) Fonetica generale, p 224
  • E.g. Allen & Hawkins (1978) Development of Phonological Rhythm contranst 틀:Angle bracket from 틀:Angle bracket from 틀:Angle bracket
  • 9.0 9.1 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Cite book
  • Richard M. Hogg, Norman Blake, R. W. Burchfield, The Cambridge History of the English Language, CUP 1992, p. 49.
  • 틀:Cite book
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • Also supported by 틀:Harvcoltxt.
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • Institut d'Estudis Catalans 틀:Webarchive Els diftongs, els triftongs i els hiats – Gramàtica de la Llengua Catalana (provisional draft)
  • e.g. 틀:Harvcoltxt, 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 32.0 32.1 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 33.0 33.1 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Cite book
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • See 틀:Harvcoltxt for a brief overview of the views regarding Romanian semivowels
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Hr icon Vjesnik Babić ne zagovara korijenski pravopis, nego traži da Hrvati ne piju mlijeko nego – mlieko
  • 틀:Cite journal
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt
  • 틀:Harvcoltxt

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