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A diphthong is a single-syllable vowel sound in which the beginning of the sound is different from the end sound—that is, the sound glides from one vowel sound to another. For this reason, diphthongs are often referred to as gliding vowels.
There are eight vowel sounds in American English that are generally agreed upon as being diphthongs.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the combination of two vowels—a syllabic and a nonsyllabic vowel—in one syllable, for example, the French [oi]. Two types of diphthongs may be distinguished: the rising diphthong, in which the second vowel is the syllable-building element, for example, the French [ie] and [ui] and the falling diphthong, in which the first vowel is the syllable-building element, for example, the English [ai] and [au].

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dean then tries to resurrect his DJ life and goes to an audition for a band "Burnt the Dipthongs" but ends up burning a band member and then healing him.
"Gentle Hop," as he was called by his classmates, notes each quirk of speech around him and writes lovingly of the Welsh he is slowly learning, which runs off the tongue "like oil by dipthongs and triphthongs" (131).
Coverage begins with the International Phonetic Alphabet and ends with dialect differences, in between traversing the particulars of consonants, affricates, vowels, and dipthongs, among other topics.
People speaking English generally pause slightly at the juncture of contiguous vowels not sounded as dipthongs (e.g., "When Brenda arrived, Mario opened the door").
LINGUISTIC GUIDE TO QUECHUA PRONUNCIATION phoneme alphabetic representation vowels /a/ ah /e/ i (before or after consonants q, q, or qh) /u/ u, uw /o/ u (before or after consonants q, q, or qh) phoneme Quechua consonants /ch/ ch /f/ ph /g/ g /h/ h /k/ k, q /k/ k, q, p (at end of word, like Scottish loch /1/ 1 /[1.sup.y]/ 1 (with middle of tongue against roof of mouth /m/ m /n/ n /[n.sup.y]/ n (as in Spanish /p/ p /??/ r (fop sound as in American English better; like a very short -d sound /r/ rr (as in Spanish, trilled r) /s/ S /sh/ sh /t/ t /w/ w /y/ y Dipthongs: The Quechua writing system combines the letters w and y with a, i, or u to form the following dipthongs.
The paper reports findings of a study with 100 students with 145 instances of vowels that were misarticulated, 223 instances of consonants, 50 dipthongs, 128 blends, and 72 ending sounds.
meijo = meio); the spelling of nasal vowels and dipthongs has been modernized (e.g.
That last line is equal, metrically, to "And the rotten rose is ript from the wall," but it takes forty-seven times longer to say because it has all those long vowels and consonants: the assonance of "names," "rain" and "down," "ploughs"--all dipthongs that you can hold on to forever.
Vowels Long Vowels * Vowel Dipthongs Correlation .7 .4 (of 5 same features) * Matches developmental sequence.