Retracted Vowel
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Retracted Vowel
Retracted vowels are one of three articulatory dimensions of vowel space

A retracted vowel is a vowel sound in which the body or root of the tongue is pulled back into the pharynx. The most retracted cardinal vowels are [? ?], which are so far back that the epiglottis may press against the back pharyngeal wall, and [? ?]. Raised or front vowels may be partially retracted, for example by an adjacent uvular consonant or by vowel harmony based on retracted tongue root. In both cases, /i y e ø a o u/, for example, may be retracted to [? ? ? oe ? ? ].

Retracted vowels and raised vowels constitute the traditional, but articulatorily inaccurate, category of back vowels.


  • Moisik, Scott; Czaykowska-Higgins, Ewa; Esling, John H. (2012). "The Epilaryngeal Articulator: A New Conceptual Tool for Understanding Lingual-Laryngeal Contrasts" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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