Vietnamese Phonology
Get Vietnamese Phonology essential facts below. View Videos or join the Vietnamese Phonology discussion. Add Vietnamese Phonology to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Vietnamese Phonology

This article is a technical description of the sound system of the Vietnamese language, including phonetics and phonology. Two main varieties of Vietnamese, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), are described below.

Initial consonants

Initial consonants which exist only in the Hanoi dialect are in red, while those that exist only in the Saigon dialect are in blue.

  • /w/ is the only initial consonant permitted to form consonant clusters with other consonants.
  • /p/ occurs syllable-initially only in loan words, but some speakers pronounce as /?/ (as in sâm banh, derived from French champagne).
  • The glottalized stops are preglottalized and voiced: [, ] (the glottis is always closed before the oral closure). This glottal closure is often not released before the release of the oral closure, resulting in the characteristic implosive pronunciation. However, sometimes the glottal closure is released prior to the oral release in which case the stops are pronounced [?b, ?d]. Therefore, the primary characteristic is preglottalization with implosion being secondary.
  • /?, m/ are bilabial, while /f, v/ are labiodental.
  • /t, t?/ are denti-alveolar ([t?, t]), while /?, n, l/ are apico-alveolar.[1]
  • /c, ?/ are phonetically lamino-palatoalveolar (the blade of the tongue makes contact behind the alveolar ridge).
  • /?, c/ are often slightly affricated [, t], but they are unaspirated.
  • A glottal stop [?] is inserted before words that begin with a vowel or /w/:
?n 'to eat' /?n/ -> [n]
u? 'to delegate' /wi/ -> [?wi]

Hanoi initials

  • d, gi and r are all pronounced /z/, but r is pronounced [?] in loanwords, for example, cà r?t 'carrot' is pronounced [ka? ?ot].
  • ch and tr are both pronounced /c/, while x and s are both pronounced /s/.
  • Some rural speakers merge /l/ and /n/ into /l/, although this is not considered standard.[1]

Saigon initials

  • d and gi are both pronounced /j/, but gi is pronounced /z/ in careful speech by some speakers.[who?][]
  • Historically, /v/ is pronounced [j] in common speech, merging with d and gi. However, it is becoming distinct and pronounced as [v], especially in careful speech or when reading a text. In traditional performance including C?i lng, n ca tài t?, Hát b?i and some old speakers of Overseas Vietnamese, it is pronounced as consonant cluster [bj], [?j] or [vj].[2] In loanwords, it is always pronounced [v]: va li [va:? l?i].
  • Historically, a distinction is made between ch /c/ and tr /?/, as well as between x /s/ and s /?/. However, in many speakers, these two pairs are becoming merged as /c/ and /s/ respectively.[3]
  • In informal speech, /kw/, /hw/, /?w/, and sometimes /?w/ are pronounced [w]. However, it is becoming distinct and pronounced as [?w], [hw], [w], [?w] respectively, especially in formal speech or when reading a text.
  • Many speakers pronounce /x/ as [k?], and it was pronounced like this in Middle Vietnamese.[who?][]
  • In southern speech, the phoneme /?/, generally represented in Vietnamese linguistics by the letter ⟨r⟩, has a number of variant pronunciations that depend on the speaker. More than one pronunciation may even be found within a single speaker. It may occur as a retroflex fricative [?], an alveolar approximant [?] (unrounded), a flap [?] or a trill [r]. Some rural speakers from Mekong Delta pronounced /?/ as [?] or [j], but this is not considered formal.

Comparison of initials

The table below summarizes these sound correspondences:

Diaphoneme Hanoi Saigon Example
word Hanoi Saigon
/v/ /v/ /j/ or /v/ v?   'wife' [v?] [j] or [v]
/z/ /z/ /j/ da   'skin' [za?] [ja?]
gia   'to add'
/r/ /r/ ra   'to go out' [?a?]
/c/ /c/ /c/ ch?   'split' [c] [c]
/?/ /?/ or /c/ tr?   'young' [?] or [c]
/s/ /s/ /s/ xinh   'beautiful' [s?] [sn?]
/?/ /?/ or /s/ sinh   'born' [n?] or [sn?]

Vowels

Vowel nuclei

Vowel chart of Hanoi monophthongs according to Kirby (2011:384)
Vowel chart of Hanoi diphthongs according to Kirby (2011:384)

The IPA chart of vowel nuclei above is based on the sounds in Hanoi Vietnamese; other regions may have different inventories. Vowel nuclei consist of monophthongs (simple vowels) and three centering diphthongs.

  • All vowels are unrounded except for the four back rounded vowels: /u, o, ?, u/.[]
  • In the South, the high vowels /i, ?, u/ are all diphthongized in open syllables: [?i?, ?, ?u?], Ba Vì [ba:? v?i] (About this soundlisten).[4]
  • // and /?/ are pronounced short -- shorter than the other vowels.
  • While there are small consistent spectral differences between // and /?/, it has not been established that they are perceptually significant.[5]
  • /?/: Many descriptions, such as Thompson,[6]Nguy?n (1970), Nguy?n (1997), consider this vowel to be close back unrounded: [?]. However, Han's[7] instrumental analysis indicates that it is more central than back. Hoang (1965), Brunelle (2003) and Ph?m (2006) also transcribe this vowel as central.

Closing sequences

In Vietnamese, vowel nuclei are able to combine with offglides /j/ or /w/ to form closing diphthongs and triphthongs. Below is a chart[8] listing the closing sequences of general northern speech.

Thompson (1965) says that in Hanoi, words spelled with ?u and u are pronounced /iw, i?w/, respectively, whereas other dialects in the Tonkin delta pronounce them as /?w/ and /w/. This observation is also made by Ph?m (2008) and Kirby (2011).

Finals

When stops /p, t, k/ occur at the end of words, they have no audible release ([p?, t?, k?]):

?áp 'to reply' /?ap/ -> [?ap?]
mát 'cool' /mat/ -> [mat?]
khác 'different' /xak/ -> [xak?]

When the velar consonants /k, ?/ are after /u, o, ?/, they are articulated with a simultaneous bilabial closure [k?p?, m] (i.e. doubly articulated) or are strongly labialized [k, ].

c 'muddy' /?uk/ -> [?uk?p?], [k]
c 'poison' /?ok/ -> [wk?p?], [wk]
c 'to read' /k/ -> [wk?p?], [wk]
ung 'cancer' /u?/ -> [um], []
ông 'man' /o?/ -> [wm], [w]
ong 'bee' // -> [?wm], [?w]

Hanoi finals

Analysis of final ch, nh

The pronunciation of syllable-final ch and nh in Hanoi Vietnamese has had different analyses. One analysis, that of Thompson (1965) has them as being phonemes /c, ?/, where /c/ contrasts with both syllable-final t /t/ and c /k/ and /?/ contrasts with syllable-final n /n/ and ng /?/. Final /c, ?/ is, then, identified with syllable-initial /c, ?/.

Another analysis has final ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨nh⟩ as representing different spellings of the velar phonemes /k/ and /?/ that occur after upper front vowels /i/ (orthographic ⟨i⟩) and /e/ (orthographic ⟨ê⟩). This analysis interprets orthographic ?ach? and ?anh? as an underlying /?/, which becomes phonetically open and diphthongized: /?k/ -> [?jk], // -> [?j].[9] This diphthongization also affects ?êch? and ?ênh?: /ek/ -> [jk], /e?/ -> [j].

Arguments for the second analysis include the limited distribution of final [c] and [?], the gap in the distribution of [k] and [?] which do not occur after [i] and [e], the pronunciation of ?ach? and ?anh? as [?c] and [] in certain conservative central dialects,[10] and the patterning of [k]~[c] and [?]~[?] in certain reduplicated words. Additionally, final [c] is not articulated as far forward as the initial [c]: [c] and [?] are pre-velar [k?, ] with no alveolar contact.[11]

The first analysis closely follows the surface pronunciation of a slightly different Hanoi dialect than the second. In this dialect, the /a/ in /ac/ and /a?/ is not diphthongized but is actually articulated more forward, approaching a front vowel [æ]. This results in a three-way contrast between the rimes ?n [æ?n] vs. anh [æ] vs. ?ng [æ]. For this reason, a separate phonemic /?/ is posited.

Table of Hanoi finals

The following rimes ending with velar consonants have been diphthongized in the Hanoi dialect, but /i/, /u/ and /?/ are more open:[10]

ong, oc /aw?/, /awk/ -> [?wm], [?wk?p?]
ông, ôc /?w?/, /?wk/ -> [wm], [wk?p?]
ung, uc /u?/, /uk/ -> [m], [?k?p?]
?ng, ?c, ?n, ?t //, /?k/, /?n/, /?t/ -> [], [k], [n], [t?]
anh, ach //, /?k/ -> [?j], [?jk]
ênh, êch /e?/, /ek/ -> [j], [jk]
inh, ich /i?/, /ik/ -> [], [?k]

With the above phonemic analyses, the following is a table of rimes ending in /n, t, ?, k/ in the Hanoi dialect:

/?/ /a/ /?/ /?/, /aw/ // /?/ /e/ /o/ /i/ /?/ /u/ /i/ // /u/
/n/ ?n an en on ân ?n ên ôn in ?n un iên n uôn
/t/ ?t at et ot ât ?t êt ôt it ?t ut iêt t uôt
/?/ ?ng ang anh ong âng - ênh ông inh ?ng ung iêng ng uông
/k/ ?c ac ach oc âc - êch ôc ich ?c uc iêc c uôc

Saigon finals

Merger of finals

While the variety of Vietnamese spoken in Hanoi has retained finals faithfully from Middle Vietnamese, the variety spoken in Ho Chi Minh City has drastically changed its finals. Rimes ending in /k, ?/ merged with those ending in /t, n/, respectively, so they are always pronounced /t, n/, respectively, after the short front vowels /i, e, a/ (only when /a/ is before "nh"). However, they are always pronounced /k, ?/ after the other vowels /u, o, ?, i:, ?, aw, a, a:, ?, ?, ?:/. After rounded vowels /aw, u, o/, many speakers close their lips, i.e. they pronounce /k, ?/ as [k?p, m].[10] Subsequently, vowels of rimes ending in labiovelars have been diphthongized, while vowels of rimes ending in alveolar have been centralized.[12] Otherwise, some Southern speakers distinguish /k, ?/ and /t, n/ after /u, o, ?, i:, ?, aw, a, a:, ?, ?, ?:/ in formal speech, but there are no Southern speakers who pronounce "ch" and "nh" at the end of syllables as /k, ?/.

Table of Saigon finals

The short back vowels in the rimes have been diphthongized and centralized, meanwhile, the consonants have been labialized. Similarly, the short front vowels have been centralized which are realized as central vowels /?, ?, ?/ and the "unspecified" consonants have been affected by Coronal Spreading from the preceding front vowels which are surfaced as coronals (alveolar) /n, t/.[10]

ung, uc /u?/, /uk/ -> [?wm], [?wk?p?]
ông, ôc /o?/, /ok/ -> [?wm], [?wk?p?]
ong, oc //, /?k/ ->
anh, ach /an/, /at/ -> [?n], [?t?]
ênh, êch /en/, /et/ -> [?n], [?t?]
in ~ inh, it ~ ich /in/, /it/ -> [n], [t?]
um, up /um/, /up/ -> [?m], [?p?]
?ng ~ ?n, ?c ~ ?t //, /?k/ -> [], [k]

The other closed dialects (Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh) which have also been merged in codas, but some vowels are pronounced differently in some dialects:

Hue[13][6] Quang Nam[14] Binh Dinh[15] Sai Gon
ung, uc [?wm], [?wk?p?] [?wm], [?wk?p?] [?wm], [?wk?p?] [?wm], [?wk?p?]
un, ut [u:m], [u:k?p?] [u:m], [u:k?p?]
ênh, êch [?n], [?t?] [?n], [?t?] [?n], [?t?] [?:n], [?:t?]
ên, êt [e:n], [e:t?] [e:n], [e:t?] [e:n], [e:t?]
inh, ich [n], [t?] [n], [t?] [n], [t?] [n], [t?]
in, it [in], [it?] [in], [it?] [in], [it?]

The ông, ôc rimes are merged into ong, oc as [?wm], [?wk?p?] in many Southern speakers, but not with ôn, ôt as pronounced [o:m], [o:k?p?]. The oong, ooc and eng, ec rimes are few and are mostly loanwords or onomatopoeia. The ôông, ôôc (oong, ooc, eng, ec, êng, êc as well) rimes are the "archaric" form before become ông, ôc by diphthongization and still exist in North Central dialect in many placenames. The articulation of these rimes in North Central dialect are [o:?], [o:k?] without a simultaneous bilabial closure or labialization.[16]

on, ot /?n/, /?t/ -> [?:?], [?:k]
oong, ooc //, /?k/ ->
ôn, ôt /on/, /ot/ -> [o:m], [o:k?p?].
ôông, ôôc /o?/, /ok/ ->
ong, oc /aw?/, /awk/ -> [?wm], [?wk?p?]
ông, ôc /?w?/, /?wk/ ->

With the above phonemic analyses, the following is a table of rimes ending in /n, t, ?, k, m, k?p/ in the Saigon dialect:

/?/, /aw/ /o/ /u/ /?/ /a/ // /?/ /?/ /?/ /e/ /i/ /u:/ /?:/ /i:/
/n/ -
anh
ên
ênh
in
inh
/t/ -
ach
êt
êch
it
ich
/?/ on
oong
?n
?ng
an
ang
ân
âng
?n
-
?n
?ng
en
eng
uôn
uông
n
ng
iên
iêng
/k/ ot
ooc
?t
?c
at
ac
ât
âc
?t
-
?t
?c
et
ec
uôt
uôc
t
c
iêt
iêc
/m/ -
ong / ông
ôn
ôông
un
ung
/k?p/ -
oc / ôc
ôt
ôôc
ut
uc
Combinations that have changed their pronunciation due to merger are bolded.

Tone

Vietnamese vowels are all pronounced with an inherent tone. Tones differ in

  • pitch
  • length
  • contour melody
  • intensity
  • phonation (with or without accompanying constricted vocal cords)

Unlike many Native American, African, and Chinese languages, Vietnamese tones do not rely solely on pitch contour. Vietnamese often uses instead a register complex (which is a combination of phonation type, pitch, length, vowel quality, etc.). So perhaps a better description would be that Vietnamese is a register language and not a "pure" tonal language.[17]

In Vietnamese orthography, tone is indicated by diacritics written above or below the vowel.

Six-tone analysis

There is much variation among speakers concerning how tone is realized phonetically. There are differences between varieties of Vietnamese spoken in the major geographic areas (northern, central, southern) and smaller differences within the major areas (e.g. Hanoi vs. other northern varieties). In addition, there seems to be variation among individuals. More research is needed to determine the remaining details of tone realization and the variation among speakers.

Northern varieties

The six tones in the Hanoi and other northern varieties are:

Tone name Tone ID Description Chao Tone Contour Diacritic Example
ngang "flat" A1 mid level ? (33) ? ba ('three')
huy?n "deep" A2 low falling (breathy) (21) or (31) ('lady')
s?c "sharp" B1 mid rising, tense (35) ('governor')
n?ng "heavy" B2 mid falling, glottalized, short ? (3?2?) or ? (3?1?) ? b? ('at random')
h?i "asking" C1 mid falling(-rising), harsh (313) or (323) or (31) b? ('poison')
ngã "tumbling" C2 mid rising, glottalized (3?5) or (4?5) ('residue')
Northern Vietnamese (non-Hanoi) tones as uttered by a male speaker in isolation. From Nguy?n & Edmondson (1998)
Hanoi tones as uttered by a female speaker in isolation. From Nguy?n & Edmondson (1998)
Hanoi tones as uttered by a different female speaker in isolation. From Nguy?n & Edmondson (1998)

Ngang tone:

  • The ngang tone is level at around the mid level (33) and is produced with modal voice phonation (i.e. with "normal" phonation). Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "level"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "high (or mid) level".

Huy?n tone:

  • The huy?n tone starts low-mid and falls (21). Some Hanoi speakers start at a somewhat higher point (31). It is sometimes accompanied by breathy voice (or lax) phonation in some speakers, but this is lacking in other speakers: = [?a].[18] Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "grave-lowering"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "low falling".

H?i tone:

  • The h?i tone starts a mid level and falls. It starts with modal voice phonation, which moves increasingly toward tense voice with accompanying harsh voice (although the harsh voice seems to vary according to speaker). In Hanoi, the tone is mid falling (31). In other northern speakers, the tone is mid falling and then rises back to the mid level (313 or 323). This characteristic gives this tone its traditional description as "dipping". However, the falling-rising contour is most obvious in citation forms or when syllable-final; in other positions and when in fast speech, the rising contour is negligible. The h?i also is relatively short compared with the other tones, but not as short as the n?ng tone. Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "smooth-rising"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "dipping-rising".

Ngã tone:

  • The ngã tone is mid rising (35). Many speakers begin the vowel with modal voice, followed by strong creaky voice starting toward the middle of the vowel, which is then lessening as the end of the syllable is approached. Some speakers with more dramatic glottalization have a glottal stop closure in the middle of the vowel (i.e. as [V?V]). In Hanoi Vietnamese, the tone starts at a higher pitch (45) than other northern speakers. Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "chesty-raised"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "creaking-rising".

S?c tone:

  • The s?c tone starts as mid and then rises (35) in much the same way as the ngã tone. It is accompanied by tense voice phonation throughout the duration of the vowel. In some Hanoi speakers, the ngã tone is noticeably higher than the s?c tone, for example: s?c = (34); ngã = (45). Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "acute-angry"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "high (or mid) rising".

N?ng tone:

  • The n?ng tone starts mid or low-mid and rapidly falls in pitch (32 or 21). It starts with tense voice that becomes increasingly tense until the vowel ends in a glottal stop closure. This tone is noticeably shorter than the other tones. Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "chesty-heavy"; Nguy?n (1997) describes it as "constricted".

Southern varieties

Contour Register Tone name Tone ID Description Chao Tone Contour Diacritic Example
Qu?ng Nam[19] Bình nh[19] Saigon[20]
b?ng "even" bình "level" phù "high" ngang "flat" A1 mid flat level (42) ? (33) ? (44) ? ba ('three')
tr?m "low" huy?n "deep" A2 low falling (31) (31) (31) ('lady')
tr?c "non-even" thng "rising" high h?i "asking" C1 mid falling-rising (324) (324) (214) b? ('poison')
low ngã "tumbling" C2 ('residue')
kh? "departing" high s?c "sharp" B1 high rising (45) (435) (35) ('governor')
low n?ng "heavy" B2 low falling-rising (323) (313) (212) ? b? ('at random')
nh?p "entering" high s?c "sharp" D1 high checked rising (45) bác ('uncle')
low n?ng "heavy" D2 low checked falling (21) ? b?c ('silver')

The Southern tones contour of ngang, s?c, huy?n is similar as Northern tones, however, these tones are produced with normal voice instead of breathy voice.

The n?ng tone are pronounced as low rising tone (12) [] in fast speech or low falling-rising tone (212) [] in more careful utterance.

The ngã and h?i tone are merged into a mid falling-rising (214) [] which is somewhat similar h?i tone of non-Hanoi Northern accent mentioned above.

Southern Vietnamese tone system from female native speaker. From Jessica Bauman et al. (2009)[21]

North-central and Central varieties

North-central and Central Vietnamese varieties are fairly similar with respect to tone although within the North-central dialect region there is considerable internal variation.

It is sometimes said (by people from other provinces) that people from Ngh? An pronounce every tone as a n?ng tone.

Eight-tone analysis

An older analysis assumes eight tones rather than six.[22] This follows the lead of traditional Chinese phonology. In Middle Chinese, syllables ending in a vowel or nasal allowed for three tonal distinctions, but syllables ending with /p/, /t/ or /k/ had no tonal distinctions. Rather, they were consistently pronounced with a short high tone, which was called the entering tone and considered a fourth tone. Similar considerations lead to the identification of two additional tones in Vietnamese for syllables ending in /p/, /t/, /c/ and /k/. These are not phonemically distinct from the huy?n and n?ng tones, however, and hence not considered as separate tones by modern linguists and are not distinguished in the orthography.

Syllables and phonotactics

According to Hannas (1997), there are 4,500 to 4,800 possible spoken syllables (depending on dialect), and the standard national orthography (Qu?c Ng?) can represent 6,200 syllables (Qu?c Ng? orthography represents more phonemic distinctions than are made by any one dialect).[23] A description of syllable structure and exploration of its patterning according to the Prosodic Analysis approach of J.R. Firth is given in Henderson (1966).[24]

The Vietnamese syllable structure follows the scheme:

(C1)(w)V(G|C2)+T

where

  • C1 = initial consonant onset
  • w = labiovelar on-glide /w/
  • V = vowel nucleus
  • G = off-glide coda (/j/ or /w/)
  • C2 = final consonant coda
  • T = tone.

In other words, a syllable has an obligatory nucleus and tone, and can have an optional consonant onset, an optional on-glide /w/, and an optional coda or off-glide.

More explicitly, the syllable types are as follows:

Syllable Example Syllable Example
V ê "eh" wV u? "sluggish"
VC ám "possess (by ghosts,.etc)" wVC oán "bear a grudge"
VC ?t "capsicum" wVC o?t "little imp"
CV n? "female" CwV hu? "cancel"
CVC c?m "rice" CwVC toán "math"
CVC t?c "angry" CwVC ho?c "or"

C1: Any consonant may occur in as an onset with the following exceptions:

  • /p/ does not occur in native Vietnamese words

w: the onglide /w/ (sometimes transcribed instead as labialization [?] on a preceding consonant):

  • does not occur after labial consonants /?, f, v, m/
  • does not occur after /n/ in native Vietnamese words (it occurs in uncommon Sino-Vietnamese borrowings)

V: The vowel nucleus V may be any of the following 14 monophthongs or diphthongs: /i, ?, u, e, ?, o, ?, , ?, ?, a, i, , u/.

G: The offglide may be /j/ or /w/. Together, V and G must form one of the diphthongs or triphthongs listed in the section on Vowels.

  • offglide /j/ does not follow the front vowels /i, e, ?, i/
  • offglide /w/ does not follow the rounded vowels /u, o, ?, u/
  • with some exceptions (such as khu?u tay "elbow"), the offglide /w/ cannot occur if the syllable contains a /w/ onglide

C2: The optional coda C2 is restricted to labial, coronal, and velar stops and nasals /p, t, k, m, n, ?/, which cannot cooccur with the offglides /j, w/.

T: Syllables are spoken with an inherent tone contour:

  • Six tone contours are possible for syllables with offglides /j, w/, closed syllables with nasal codas /m, n, ?/, and open syllables--i.e., those without consonant codas /p, t, k/.
  • If the syllable is closed with one of the oral stops /p, t, k/, only two contours are possible: the s?c and the n?ng tones.
Common Vietnamese rimes [Notes]
Zero coda Off-glide coda Nasal consonant coda Stop consonant coda
? /j/ /w/ /m/ /n/ /?/ /p/ /t/ /k/
Vowel nucleus /?/ ?y
[?j]
?u
[?w]
?m
[?m]
?n
[?n]
?ng
[]
?p
[?p]
?t
[?t]
?c
[?k]
/a/ ?, (gi)à, (gi)?, (gi)ã, (gi)á
[a]
?i
[aj]
?o
[aw]
?m
[am]
?n
[an]
?ng
[a?]
?p
[ap]
?t
[at]
?c
[ak]
/?/ ?
[?]
?o
[?w]
?m
[?m]
?n
[?n]
?nh
[?j?]
?p
[?p]
?t
[?t]
?ch
[?jk]
/?/ ?
[?]
?i
[?j]
?m
[?m]
?n
[?n]
?ng
[?w?]
?p
[?p]
?t
[?t]
?c
[?wk]
// ?y
[j]
?u
[w]
?m
[m]
?n
[n]
?ng
[]
?p
[p]
?t
[t]
?c
[k]
/?/ ?
[?]
?i
[?j]
?m
[?m]
?n
[?n]
?p
[?p]
?t
[?t]
/e/ ?
[e]
?u
[ew]
?m
[em]
?n
[en]
?nh
[j?]
?p
[ep]
?t
[et]
?ch
[jk]
/o/ ?
[o]
?i
[oj]
?m
[om]
?n
[on]
?ng
[w?]
?p
[op]
?t
[ot]
?c
[wk]
/i/ ?, ?
[i]
?u
[iw]
?m, ?m
[im]
?n
[in]
?nh
[i?]
?p, ?p
[ip]
?t
[it]
?ch, ?ch
[ik]
/?/ ?
[?]
?i
[?j]
?u
[?w]
?ng
[]
?t
[?t]
?c
[?k]
/u/ ?
[u]
?i
[uj]
?m
[um]
?n
[un]
?ng
[u?]
?p
[up]
?t
[ut]
?c
[uk]
/i?/ ?a, (g)?a, ?a
[i?]
i?u, y?u
[i?w]
i?m, y?m
[i?m]
i?n, y?n
[i?n]
i?ng, y?ng
[i]
i?p, y?p
[i?p]
i?t, y?t
[i?t]
i?c
[i?k]
// ?a
[]
i
[j]
u
[w]
m
[m]
n
[n]
ng
[]
p
[p]
t
[t]
c
[k]
/u?/ ?a
[u?]
u?i
[u?j]
u?m
[u?m]
u?n
[u?n]
u?ng
[u]
u?t
[u?t]
u?c
[u?k]
Labiovelar on-glide followed by vowel nucleus // o?y, (q)u?y
[j]
o?m, (q)u?m
[m]
o?n, (q)u?n
[n]
o?ng, (q)u?ng
[]
o?p, (q)u?p
[p]
o?t, (q)u?t
[t]
o?c, (q)u?c
[k]
/?a/ o?, (q)u?
[?a]
o?i, (q)u?i
[?aj]
o?o, (q)u?o
[?aw]
o?m, (q)u?m
[?am]
o?n, (q)u?n
[?an]
o?ng, (q)u?ng
[?a?]
o?p, (q)u?p
[?ap]
o?t, (q)u?t
[?at]
o?c, (q)u?c
[?ak]
// o?, (q)u?
[]
o?o, (q)u?o
[w]
o?m, (q)u?m
[m]
o?n, (q)u?n
[n]
o?nh, (q)u?nh
[j?]
o?t, (q)u?t
[t]
o?ch, (q)u?ch
[jk]
// u?y
[j]
u?n
[n]
u?ng
[?]
u?t
[t]
// u?
[]
/?e/ u?
[?e]
u?u
[?ew]
u?n
[?en]
u?nh
[j?]
u?t
[?et]
u?ch
[jk]
/?i/ u?
[?i]
u?u
[?iw]
u?n
[?in]
u?nh
[?i?]
u?p
[?ip]
u?t
[?it]
u?ch
[?ik]
/?i?/ u?a
[?i?]
uy?n
[?i?n]
uy?t
[?i?t]
Tone a /a/, à /â/, á /?/, ? /a?/, ã //, ? /â?/ á /á/, ? /à/

^ Notes:

  • Less common rimes may not be represented in this table.
  • The n?ng tone mark (dot below) has been added to all rimes in this table for illustration purposes only. It indicates which letter tone marks in general are added to, largely according to the "new style" rules of Vietnamese orthography as stated in Quy t?c t d?u thanh trong ch? qu?c ng?. In practice, not all these rimes have real words or syllables that have the n?ng tone.
  • The IPA representations are based on Wikipedia's conventions. Different dialects may have different pronunciations.

Notes

2

Below is a table comparing four linguists' different transcriptions of Vietnamese vowels as well as the orthographic representation. Notice that this article mostly follows Han (1966), with the exception of marking short vowels short.

comparison of orthography & vowel descriptions
Orthography Wikipedia Thompson[6] Han[7] Nguy?n[25] ?oàn[26]
i/y i i: i i i
ê e e: e e e
e ? ?: ? a ?
? ? ?: ? ? ?
u u u: u u u
ô o o: o o o
o ? ?: ? ? ?
? ? ?: ?: ?: ?:
â ? ? ? ?
a a æ: ?: ?: a:
? ? ? ? ? a

Thompson (1965) says that the vowels [?] (orthographic â) and [?] (orthographic ?) are shorter than all of the other vowels, which is shown here with the length mark [:] added to the other vowels. His vowels above are only the basic vowel phonemes. Thompson gives a very detailed description of each vowel's various allophonic realizations.

Han (1966) uses acoustic analysis, including spectrograms and formant measuring and plotting, to describe the vowels. She states that the primary difference between orthographic ? & â and a & ? is a difference of length (a ratio of 2:1). ? = /?:/, â = /?/; a = /?:/, ? = /?/. Her formant plots also seem to show that /?:/ may be slightly higher than /?/ in some contexts (but this would be secondary to the main difference of length).

Another thing to mention about Han's studies is that she uses a rather small number of participants and, additionally, although her participants are native speakers of the Hanoi variety, they all have lived outside of Hanoi for a significant period of their lives (e.g. in France or Ho Chi Minh City).

Nguy?n (1997) has a simpler, more symmetrical description. He says that his work is not a "complete grammar" but rather a "descriptive introduction." So, his chart above is more a phonological vowel chart rather than a phonetic one.

References

  1. ^ a b Kirby (2011:382)
  2. ^ Thompson, Laurence C. (July 1959). "Saigon Phonemics". Language. 35 (3): 454-476. doi:10.2307/411232. JSTOR 411232.
  3. ^ Ph?m (2008:35)
  4. ^ http://imatv.me/classes/Ling103TermPaper.pdf
  5. ^ Kirby (2011:384)
  6. ^ a b c Thompson (1965)
  7. ^ a b Han (1966)
  8. ^ From Nguy?n (1997)
  9. ^ Although there are some words where orthographic ⟨c⟩ and ⟨ng⟩ occur after /?/, these words are few and are mostly loanwords or onomatopoeia
  10. ^ a b c d Ph?m (2006)
  11. ^ Kirby (2011:383)
  12. ^ Ph?m, Andrea Hòa (2013), "Synchronic evidence for historical hypothesis - Vietnamese palatals", Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States Forum, 39
  13. ^ Vng H., L? (1992). "Các c·?i?m ng?·âm c?a ti?ng Hu?". Nguy?n Ti?n H?i blogspot. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Hoa Pham, Andrea. "Ngôn ng? bi?n i và s? ph?n c?a nguyên âm /a/ trong gi?ng Qu?ng Nam. [Issue in language change and the phonemic status of /a/ in Quang Nam dialect]". Ngôn Ng?. s? 6, 2014.
  15. ^ Lê T. H., Mai. "Âm s?c, trng và gi?i pháp cho h? th?ng nguyên âm th? ng? Bình nh". Ngôn Ng?. s? 10, 2016.
  16. ^ Nguy?n V?n, Loan (2012). "Kh?o sát a danh ? Hà T?nh (The investigation of Hà T?nh province's toponyms)". Lu?n án Ti?n s? Ng? v?n, Trng i h?c Vinh.
  17. ^ Ph?m (2003:93)
  18. ^ For example, Nguy?n & Edmondson (1998) show a male speaker from Nam nh with lax voice and a female speaker from Hanoi with breathy voice for the huy?n tone while another male speaker from Hanoi has modal voice for the huy?n.
  19. ^ a b Nguy?n V?n, L?i (2018). "S? hình thành cách ghi thanh ?i?u ch? Qu?c ng? [The formation of tone spelling in the National Script]". V?n hóa Ngh? An. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ Hu?nh Công, Tín (2003). Ti?ng Sài Gòn [The Saigon dialect]. C?n Th?: Chính tr? Qu?c gia - S? th?t. pp. 70-77.
  21. ^ Baumann, Jessica; Blodgett, Allison; Rytting, C. Anton; Shamoo, Jessica. "The ups and downs of Vietnamese tones". University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language.
  22. ^ Ph?m (2003:45)
  23. ^ Hannas (1997:88)
  24. ^ Henderson (1966)
  25. ^ Nguy?n (1997)
  26. ^ ?oàn (1980)

Bibliography

  • Alves, Mark J. 2007. "A Look At North-Central Vietnamese." In SEALS XII Papers from the 12th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society 2002, edited by Ratree Wayland et al.. Canberra, Australia, 1-7. Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. [1]
  • Brunelle, Marc (2003), "Coarticulation effects in northern Vietnamese tones" (PDF), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences
  • Brunelle, Marc (2009), "Tone perception in Northern and Southern Vietnamese", Journal of Phonetics, 37 (1): 79-96, doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2008.09.003
  • ?oàn, Thi?n Thu?t (1980), Ng? âm ti?ng Vi?t, Hà N?i?i h?c và Trung h?c Chuyên nghi?p
  • ?oàn, Thi?n Thu?t; Nguy?n, Khánh Hà, Ph?m, Nh? Qu?nh. (2003). A Concise Vietnamese Grammar (For Non-Native Speakers). Hà N?i: Th? Gi?i Publishers, 2001.
  • Earle, M. A. (1975). An acoustic study of northern Vietnamese tones. Santa Barbara: Speech Communications Research Laboratory, Inc.
  • Emerich, Giang Huong (2012), The Vietnamese Vowel System, Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ferlus, Michel. (1997). Problemes de la formation du systeme vocalique du vietnamien. Asie Orientale, 26 (1), .
  • Gregerson, Kenneth J. (1969). A study of Middle Vietnamese phonology. Bulletin de la Société des Etudes Indochinoises, 44, 135-193. (Published version of the author's MA thesis, University of Washington). (Reprinted 1981, Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics).
  • Han, Mieko (1966), Vietnamese vowels, Studies in the phonology of Asian languages, 4, Los Angeles: Acoustic Phonetics Research Laboratory: University of Southern California
  • Han, Mieko S. (1968). Complex syllable nuclei in Vietnamese. Studies in the phonology of Asian languages (Vol. 6); U.S. Office of Naval Research. Los Angeles: University of Southern California.
  • Han, Mieko S. (1969). Vietnamese tones. Studies in the phonology of Asian languages (Vol. 8). Los Angeles: Acoustic Phonetics Research Laboratory, University of Southern California.
  • Han, Mieko S.; & Kim, Kong-On. (1972). Intertonal influences in two-syllable utterances of Vietnamese. Studies in the phonology of Asian languages (Vol. 10). Los Angeles: Acoustic Phonetics Research Laboratory, University of Southern California.
  • Han, Mieko S.; Kim, Kong-On (1974). "Phonetic variation of Vietnamese tones in disyllabic utterances". Journal of Phonetics. 2 (3): 223-232. doi:10.1016/S0095-4470(19)31272-0.
  • Hannas, William (1997), Asia's Orthographic Dilemma, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 9780824818920
  • Haudricourt, André-Georges (1949). "Origine des particularités de l'alphabet vietnamien". Dân Vi?t-Nam. 3: 61-68.
  • Haudricourt, André-Georges (1954). "De l'origine des tons en vietnamien". Journal Asiatique. 142 (1).
  • Haupers, Ralph (1969). "A note on Vietnamese kh and ph". Mon-Khmer Studies. 3: 76.
  • Henderson, Eugénie J. A. 1966. Towards a prosodic statement of the Vietnamese syllable structure. In In Memory of J. R. Firth, ed. by C. J. Bazell et al., (pp. 163-197). London: Longmans.
  • Hoàng, Th? Châu. (1989). Ti?ng Vi?t trên các mi?n t nc: Phng ng? h?c. Hà N?i: Khoa h?c xã h?i.
  • Hoang, Thi Quynh Hoa (1965), A phonological contrastive study of Vietnamese and English (PDF), Lubbock, Texas: Texas Technological College
  • Kang, Yoonjung; Ph?m, Andrea Hòa; Storme, Benjamin (2014), "French loanwords in Vietnamese: the role of input language phonotactics and contrast in loanword adaptation" (PDF), Annual Meeting on Phonology 2014, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Kirby, James P. (2011), "Vietnamese (Hanoi Vietnamese)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 41 (3): 381-392, doi:10.1017/S0025100311000181
  • Michaud, Alexis (2004), "Final consonants and glottalization: New perspectives from Hanoi Vietnamese" (PDF), Phonetica, 61 (2-3): 119-146, doi:10.1159/000082560, PMID 15662108
  • Michaud, Alexis; Vu-Ngoc, Tuan; Amelot, Angélique; Roubeau, Bernard (2006), "Nasal release, nasal finals and tonal contrasts in Hanoi Vietnamese: an aerodynamic experiment", Mon-Khmer Studies, 36: 121-137
  • Nguy?n, ng-Liêm (1970), Vietnamese pronunciation, PALI language texts: Southeast Asia., Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0-87022-462-1
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1955). Qu?c-ng?: The modern writing system in Vietnam. Washington, D. C.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1959). Hòa's Vietnamese-English dictionary. Saigon. (Revised as Nguy?n 1966 & 1995).
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1966). Vietnamese-English dictionary. Rutland, VT: C.E. Tuttle Co. (Revised version of Nguy?n 1959).
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà (1992). "Vietnamese phonology and graphemic borrowings from Chinese: The Book of 3,000 Characters revisited". Mon-Khmer Studies. 20: 163-182.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1995). NTC's Vietnamese-English dictionary (rev. ed.). Lincolnwood, IL.: NTC Pub. Group. (Revised & expanded version of Nguy?n 1966).
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà. (1996). Vietnamese. In P. T. Daniels, & W. Bright (Eds.), The world's writing systems, (pp. 691-699). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-507993-0.
  • Nguy?n, ?ình-Hoà (1997), Vietnamese: Ti?ng Vi?t không son ph?n, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1-55619-733-8
  • Nguy?n, V?n L?i; Edmondson, Jerold A (1998), "Tones and voice quality in modern northern Vietnamese: Instrumental case studies", Mon-Khmer Studies, 28: 1-18
  • Ph?m, Hoà. (2001). A phonetic study of Vietnamese tones: Reconsideration of the register flip-flop rule in reduplication. In C. Féry, A. D. Green, & R. van de Vijver (Eds.), Proceedings of HILP5 (pp. 140-158). Linguistics in Potsdam (No. 12). Potsdam: Universität Potsdam (5th conference of the Holland Institute of Linguistics-Phonology). ISBN 3-935024-27-4.
  • Ph?m, Hoà Andrea (2003), Vietnamese Tone - A New Analysis, New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-96762-4
  • Ph?m, Hoà Andrea (2006), "Vietnamese Rhyme", Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 25: 107-142
  • Ph?m, Hoà Andrea (2008), "The Non-Issue of Dialect in Teaching Vietnamese", Journal of Southeast Asian Language Teaching, 14: 22-39
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454-476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232
  • Thompson, Laurence (1967), "The history of Vietnamese final palatals", Language, 43 (1): 362-371, doi:10.2307/411402, JSTOR 411402
  • Thompson, Laurence (1965), A Vietnamese reference grammar (1 ed.), Seattle: University of Washington Press., ISBN 978-0-8248-1117-4
  • Thurgood, Graham (2002). "Vietnamese and tonogenesis: Revising the model and the analysis". Diachronica. 19 (2): 333-363. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.694.756. doi:10.1075/dia.19.2.04thu.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Vietnamese_phonology
 



 



 
Music Scenes