Vietnamese phonology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For assistance with IPA transcriptions of Vietnamese for Wikipedia articles, see Help:IPA for Vietnamese.

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, are described below.


The 21 consonants of the Hanoian variety:

Bilabial Labio-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop plain p t c k (ʔ) [1]
glottalized ɓ ɗ
Fricative f v x ɣ h
[2] ɹ j w
1 Thompson[1] posits a glottal stop phoneme in a more abstract analysis of Hanoi Vietnamese that would eliminate the phonemes /ɓ, ɗ, v/ by involving sequences of glottal stop + consonant (ʔC). Specifically, he proposes:
  • /p/ → [p]
  • /ʔp/ → [ʔɓ]
  • /t/ → [t]
  • /ʔt/ → [ʔɗ]
  • /w/ → [v]
  • /ʔw/ → [ʔw]
This analysis also simplifies the syllable description so that all syllables have obligatory onsets.
  • /w/ is labial-velar and always preceded by a consonant or glottal stop (/ʔ/) (though [ʔ] does not occur before [w] in the southern varieties)
  • /p/ occurs word-initially only in borrowed vocabulary, and even so in a few words it is converted into /ɓ/ (as in bom, derived from French pomme); however, most Vietnamese people, especially those who are from the central and south proportion of the country, find difficulty in articulating it, and usually replace it with /ɓ/. /p/ in native Vietnamese words occurs only word-finally.
  • The glottalized stops are preglottalized and voiced: [ʔɓ, ʔɗ] (i.e., 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 [ʔb, ʔd]. Therefore, the primary characteristic is preglottalization with implosion being secondary.
  • Among the coronals:
    • /tʰ, s, z, l/ are dental: [t̪ʰ, s̪, z̪, l̪].
    • /t, ɗ, n/ are alveolar: [t͇, ɗ͇, n͇].
    • /tʰ, l, t, ɗ, n/ are apical [t̺ʰ, l̺, t̺, ɗ̺, n̺] (i.e. with the tongue tip).
    • /s, z, c, ɲ/ are laminal [s̻, z̻, c̻, ɲ̻] (i.e. with the tongue blade).
    • Saigonese /j/ is not present
  • /c, ɲ/ are phonetically palatoalveolar [ṯ, ṉ] (i.e. the blade of the tongue makes contact behind the alveolar ridge).
  • /c/ is often slightly affricated [ṯɕ], although much less than English [tʃʰ]. (Note that the English affricate is also aspirated and usually apical, unlike Vietnamese). This affrication, however, is not obligatory.
  • 2 /ɹ/ exists only in loan words.

Analysis of final ch, nh[edit]

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, ɲ/, where /c/ contrasts with both syllable-final t /t/ and c /k/ and /ɲ/ contrasts with syllable-final n /n/ and ng /ŋ/. Final /c, ɲ/ is, then, identified with syllable-initial /c, ɲ/.

Another analysis has final ch and nh as representing predictable allophonic variants of the velar phonemes /k/ and /ŋ/ that occur after upper front vowels /i/ (orthographic i) and /e/ (orthographic ê).

Arguments for the second analysis include the limited distribution of final [c] and [ɲ], the gap in the distribution of [k] and [ŋ], which do not occur after [i] and [e], and the patterning of [k]~[c] and [ŋ]~[ɲ] in certain reduplicated words. Additionally, final [c] is not usually articulated as far forward as the initial [c]: [c] and [ɲ] are pre-velar [k̟, ŋ̟]. The preceding upper front vowels are co-articulated as well, resulting in centralized or relaxed variants:

/ik/ ich [ïk̟] or [ɪk̟]
/iŋ/ inh [ïŋ̟] or [ɪŋ̟]
/ek/ êch [ëk̟]
/eŋ/ ênh [ëŋ̟]

Finally, this analysis interprets orthographic ach and anh as having a vowel nucleus with a front component. One interpretation considers the orthographic a in these sequences as underlyingly a diphthong /aj/ with a high front off-glide (thus equating it with orthographic ay) — in other words, /ac/ becomes [ajk] and /aɲ/ becomes [ajŋ]. Another interpretation of the orthographic a is that it is underlyingly the vowel /ɛ/, which becomes phonetically open and diphthongized: /ɛk/[ai̯k̟], /ɛŋ/[ai̯ŋ̟].[2]

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 /aɲ/ is not diphthongized but is actually articulated more forward, approaching a front vowel [æ]. This results in a three-way contrast between the rimes ăn [æ̈n] vs. anh [æ̈ŋ̟] vs. ăng [æ̈ŋ]. For this reason, a separate phonemic /ɲ/ is posited.

Êch and ênh is the orthographic ê in these sequences as underlyingly a diphthong /əj/ with a mid central off-glide (thus equating it with orthographic ây) — in other words, /ec/ becomes [əjk̟] and /eɲ/ becomes [əjŋ̟].

Phonological processes[edit]

  • A glottal stop [ʔ] is inserted before words that begin with a vowel or the glide /w/:[1]
ăn 'to eat' /an/ [ʔan]
uỷ 'to delegate' /wi/ [ʔwi]
  • When stops /p, t, k/ occur at the end of words, they have no audible release due to accompanying glottal closure: [p̚ʔ, t̚ʔ, k̚ʔ]:
đáp 'to reply' /ɗaːp/ [ʔɗaːp̚ʔ]
mát 'cool' /maːt/ [maːt̚ʔ]
khác 'different' /xaːk/ [xaːk̚ʔ]
  • When the velar consonants /k, ŋ/ follow /u, w/, they are articulated with a simultaneous bilabial closure [k͡p̚, ŋ͡m] (i.e. doubly articulated) or are strongly labialized [kʷ̚, ŋʷ].
đục 'muddy' /ɗuk/ [ʔɗuk͡p̚ʔ]
độc 'poison' /ɗəwk/ [ʔɗəwk͡p̚ʔ]
ung 'cancer' /uŋ/ [ʔuŋ͡m]
ong 'bee' /awŋ/ [ʔawŋ͡m]

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)[edit]

The 22 consonants of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) dialect (Saigon dialect):

Bilabial Labio-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
plain p t ʈʂ c k (ʔ)  
aspirated t̺ʰ
glottalized ɓ ɗ
Fricative f (v) s ʂ ʐ ɣ h  
j w


The Saigonese Vietnamese variety is essentially the same as the Hanoi with the following exceptions:

  • /v/ is generally pronounced [j] in informal speech, but the speakers generally pronounce [v] when they read a text. It is always pronounced [v] in loan words (va li, ti vi etc.), even in informal speech. There is [vj, bj, βj] that is also present among other speakers. These pronunciations are remnants of a merger and sound change involving /v/ in southern speech (/v/ is always present in the northern and central regions).
  • Some speakers don't distinguish /s/ and /ʂ/.
  • Some speakers don't distinguish /c/ and /tʂ/.
  • Hanoian /z/ is pronounced [j] in Saigonese.
  • Hanoian /x/ is pronounced [kʰ] in Saigonese.
  • Saigonese /l/ is generally slightly more palatalized than the Hanoian variety: [lʲ].
  • In southern speech, the phoneme /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 [ʐ], an alveolar approximant [ɹ], a flap [ɾ], a trill [r], or a fricative flap/trill [ɾ̝, r̝]. This sound is generally represented in Vietnamese linguistics by the letter r.
  • Among the coronals:
    • /tʰ/ can be dental: [t̪ʰ].
    • /t, ɗ, s, n, l/ can be alveolar: [t͇, ɗ͇, s͇, n͇, l͇].
    • /t, tʰ, ɗ, s, n/ can be apical: [t̺, t̺ʰ, ɗ̺, s̺, n̺] .
    • /l, c, ɲ/ can be laminal: [l̻ʲ, c̻, ɲ̻].
  • Unlike in Hanoian, the glide /w/ in Saigonese when at the beginning of a syllable is not preceded by a glottal stop.

Regional consonant variation[edit]

At the beginning of syllables, Hanoian /v, z/ appear as Saigonese /j/. Saigonese /ʐ, ɹ/ appears as Hanoian /z/, Saigonese /tʂ/ appear as Hanoian /c/, and Saigonese /ʂ/ as Hanoian /s/. The table below summarizes these sound correspondences:

Syllable onsets
Hanoi Saigon Example
word Hanoi Saigon
[v] [j] vợ   "wife" [vəː] [(v)jəː]
[z] da   "skin" [zaː] [jaː]
[ʐ], [ɹ] ra   "to go out" [zaː] [ʐaː], [ɹaː]
[c], [tɕ] [c] chẻ   "split" [cɛ], [tɕɛ] [cɛ]
[tʂ] trẻ   "young" [cɛ], [tɕɛ] [tʂɛ], [cɛ]
[s] [s] xinh   "beautiful" [siŋ] [sɪ̈n]
[ʂ], [s] sinh   "born" [siŋ] [ʂɪ̈n], [sɪ̈n]

There are also sound mergers involving syllable-final consonants among the different regional varieties. These correspondences differ from the initial consonant correspondences discussed above. Coronals /t, n/ in Hanoi appear as velars /k, ŋ/ in Saigon, except when the coronals occur after the higher front vocalics /i, e, j/, in which case Saigon /t, n/ remain the same as Hanoian /t, n/. Additionally, Hanoi /k, ŋ/ appear as Saigonese /t, n/ when they occur after /i, e, j/ (otherwise they are /k, ŋ/):

Syllable codas
Hanoi Saigon Example
word Hanoi Saigon
[t] [k] mắt   "eye" [mat] [mak]
[k] mắc   "expensive" [mak] [mak]
[n] [ŋ] răn   "warn" [zan] [ɹaŋ]
[ŋ] răng   "tooth" [zaŋ] [ɹaŋ]
[t] after [i, e, j] [t] chết   "to die" [cet], [tɕet] [cɜːt]
[k] after [i, e, j] chếch   "askance" [cəjk], [tɕəjk] [cɜːt]
[n] after [i, e, j] [n] xin   "to ask" [sin] [sɪ̈n]
[ŋ] after [i, e] xinh   "beautiful" [siŋ] [sɪ̈n]

As can be seen above, vowels also vary among different regions.



  Front Central Back
Close /i/ ‹i, y› /ɨ/ ‹ư› /u/ ‹u›
Close-mid /e/ ‹ê›   /o/ ‹ô›
Open-mid /ɛ/ ‹e› /ʌː/ ‹ơ›

/ə/ ‹â›

/ɔ/ ‹o›
Open /aː/ ‹a›

/a/ ‹ă›


The IPA vowel chart of monophthongs (i.e., simple vowels) to the right is based on the sounds in Hanoi Vietnamese, (i.e., other regions of Vietnam may have different inventories).

  • All vowels are unrounded except for the three back rounded vowels: /u, o, ɔ/.
  • /ə/ and /a/ are pronounced short — shorter than the other vowels.
    • /ə/ and /ʌː/: The short ‹â› and long ‹ơ› may differ in both height and length, but the difference in length is most likely the primary distinction.
  • /ɨ/: Many descriptions, such as Thompson,[1] Nguyễn (1970), Nguyễn (1997), consider this vowel to be close back unrounded: [ɯ]. However, Han's[3] instrumental analysis indicates that it is more central than back. Brunelle (2003) and Phạm (2006) also transcribe this vowel as central.
  • The vowel /i, u, ɨ/ becomes [ɪ, ʊ, ɪ̈] before /k, ŋ/: lịch /lik˩/[lɪk˩], chúc /cuk˧˥/[cʊk˧˥], thức /tʰɨk˧˥/[tʰʊ̜k˧˥] etc.
  • In Southern Vietnamese, the /i/ and /e/ are centralized before /t/ and /n/: bên /ɓen/[ɓɜːn], xin /sin/[sɪ̈n] etc.
  • In Southern Vietnamese, the high and upper-mid vowels /i, ɨ, u, e, əː, o/ are diphthongized in open syllables: [ɪi̯, ʊ̜ɯ̯, ʊu̯, ɛe̯, ʌɤ̯, ɔo̯]:
chị 'elder sister' /ci/ [cɪi̯] quê 'countryside' /kwe/ [(k)wɛe̯]
'fourth' /tɨ/ [tʊ̜ɯ̯] 'to dream' /məː/ [mʌɤ̯]
thu 'autumn' /tʰu/ [tʰʊu̯] 'paternal aunt' /ko/ [kɔo̯]

Diphthongs and triphthongs[edit]

In addition to monophthongs, Vietnamese has many diphthongs and triphthongs. Most of these consist of a vowel followed by /j/ or /w/. Below is a chart[4] listing the diphthongs & triphthongs of general northern speech.

/ə/ Diphthongs /j/ Diphthongs/
/w/ Diphthongs/
/iə/ /əːj/ /iw/
/ɨə/ /əj/ /ew/
/uə/ /aːj/ /ɛw/
/aj/ /əːw/
/ɨj/ /əw/
/uj/ /aːw/
/oj/ /aw/
/ɔj/ /ɨw/
/ɨəj/ /iəw/
/uəj/ /ɨəw/
  • /j/ never follows front vowels /i, e, ɛ/.
  • /w/ never follows rounded vowels /u, o, ɔ/.

Regional vowel variation[edit]

  • Thompson (1965) says that in Hanoi, words spelled with ưu and ươu are pronounced /iw, iəw/, respectively, whereas other dialects in the Tonkin delta pronounce them as /ɨw/ and /ɨəw/. Hanoi speakers that do pronounce these words with /ɨw/ and /ɨəw/ are using only a spelling pronunciation.
  • Thompson (1965) also notes that in Hanoi the diphthongs, /iə/, ươ /ɨə/, /uə/, may be pronounced [ie̯, ɨə̯, uo̯], respectively (as the spelling suggests), but before /k, ŋ/ and in open syllables these are always pronounced [iə, ɨə, uə].


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.[5]

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

Six-tone analysis[edit]

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 (i.e. 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[edit]

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

Tone name Tone ID Description Chao Tone Contour Diacritic Example
ngang "level" A1 mid level ˧ (33) (no mark) ba 'three'
huyền "hanging" A2 low falling (breathy) ˨˩ (21) or (31) ` 'lady'
sắc "sharp" B1 mid rising, tense ˧˥ (35) ´ 'governor'
nặng "heavy" B2 mid falling, glottalized, short ˧ˀ˨ʔ (3ˀ2ʔ) or ˧ˀ˩ʔ (3ˀ1ʔ)  ̣ bạ 'at random'
hỏi "asking" C1 mid falling(-rising), harsh ˧˩˧ (313) or (323) or (31)  ̉ bả 'poison'
ngã "tumbling" C2 mid rising, glottalized ˧ˀ˥ (3ˀ5) or (4ˀ5) ˜ 'residue'
Northern Vietnamese (non-Hanoi) tones as uttered by a male speaker in isolation. From Nguyễn & Edmondson (1998)
Hanoi tones as uttered by a female speaker in isolation. From Nguyễn & Edmondson (1998)
Hanoi tones as uttered by a different female speaker in isolation. From Nguyễn & 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"; Nguyễn (1997) describes it as "high (or mid) level".

Huyền tone:

  • The huyền 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: = [ʔɓɐ̤ː˨˩] or [ʔɓaː˨˩].[6] Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "grave-lowering"; Nguyễn (1997) describes it as "low falling".

Hỏi tone:

  • The hỏi 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 hỏi also is relatively short compared with the other tones, but not as short as the nặng tone. Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "smooth-rising"; Nguyễn (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 [VʔV]). In Hanoi Vietnamese, the tone starts at a higher pitch (45) than other northern speakers. Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "chesty-raised"; Nguyễn (1997) describes it as "creaking-rising".

Sắc tone:

  • The sắc 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 sắc tone, for example: sắc = ˧˦ (34); ngã = ˦ˀ˥ (45). Alexandre de Rhodes (1651) describes this as "acute-angry"; Nguyễn (1997) describes it as "high (or mid) rising".

Nặng tone:

  • The nặng tone starts mid or low-mid and rapidly falls in pitch (32 or 21). It starts with tense voice that becomes increasing 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"; Nguyễn (1997) describes it as "constricted".

Southern varieties[edit]

The Southern variety is similar through all tones, but it's only the nặng tone is different, the nặng tone is pronounced [˨˧]. Many of those speaking Southern dialects will omit using the ngã tone and replace it with the hỏi tone.

North-central and Central varieties[edit]

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 Nghệ An pronounce every tone as a nặng tone.

Eight-tone analysis[edit]

An older analysis assumes eight tones rather than six.[7] This follows the lead of traditional Chinese phonology. In Middle Chinese, normal syllables allowed for three tonal distinctions, but syllables ending with /p/, /t/ or /k/ had no tonal distinctions. Rather, they were consistently pronounced with in 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/, /k/ or /c/. These are not phonemically distinct, however, and hence not considered as separate tones by modern linguists.

Syllables and phonotactics[edit]

According to Hannas (1997), there are 4,500 to 4,800 possible spoken syllables (depending on dialect), and the standard national orthography (Quốc Ngữ) can represent 6,200 syllables (Quốc Ngữ orthography represents more phonemic distinctions than are made by any one dialect).[8]

The Vietnamese syllable structure follows the scheme:



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

In other words, a syllable can optionally have one onset consisting of single consonant or a consonant and the glide /w/ and an optional coda. The vowel nucleus may have an additional glide element.

More explicitly, the syllable types are as follows:

Syllable Example Syllable Example
V wV


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

  • /p/ does not occur in native Vietnamese words
  • /j/ does not occur in Hanoian, but it does occur in Saigonese and other varieties (due to sound change)


  • /w/ does not occur after labial consonants /ɓ, f, v, m, w/
  • /w/ does not occur after /n/ in native Vietnamese words (it occurs in uncommon Sino-Vietnamese borrowings)
  • the sequences /hw, kw/ appears in Saigonese as [w], excepting spelling pronunciations


The vowel nucleus V may be any of the following 14 monophthongs or diphthongs: /i, ɨ, u, e, ɘ, o, ɛ, ɜ̆, ɔ, ă, a, iə̯, ɨə̯, uə̯/.

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. The offglide cannot be /w/ if the syllable contains a /w/ onglide, except for case of 'khuỷu (tay)' (elbow).


The optional coda C2 is restricted to labial, coronal, & velar stops /p, t, k/ and nasals /m, n, ŋ/.


Syllables are spoken with an inherent tone contour. All tone contours are possible for open syllables (syllables without consonant codas) and closed syllables with nasal codas. If the syllable is closed with labial, coronal, or velar stops /p, t, k/, only 2 contours are possible, that is the sắc and the nặng tone.



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[9] Han[3] Nguyễn[10] Đoàn[11]
i i i i i
ê e e e e
e ɛ ɛː ɛ a ɛ
ư ɨ ɯː ɨ ɯ ɯ
u u u u u
ô o o o o
o ɔ ɔː ɔ ɔ ɔ
ơ ɘ ɤː ɜː əː ɤː
â ɜ̆ ʌ ɜ ə ɤ
a a æː ɐː ɐː
ă ă ɐ ɐ ɐ a

Thompson (1965) says that the vowels [ʌ] (orthographic â) and [ɐ] (orthographic ă) are shorter than all of the other vowels, which is shown here with the length mark [ː] 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 ơ & â and a & ă is a difference of length (a ratio of 2:1). ơ = /ɜː/, â = /ɜ/; a = /ɐː/, ă = /ɐ/. Her formant plots also seem to show that /ɜː/ may be slightly higher than /ɜ/ 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 (i.e. in France or Ho Chi Minh City).

Nguyễn (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.


  1. ^ a b Thompson (1959) and Thompson (1965)
  2. ^ Although there are some words where c and ng occur after orthographic /ɛ/, these words are few and are mostly loanwords or onomatopoeia
  3. ^ a b Han (1966)
  4. ^ From Nguyễn (1997)
  5. ^ Phạm (2003:93)
  6. ^ For example, Nguyễn & Edmondson (1998) show a male speaker from Nam Định with lax voice and a female speaker from Hanoi with breathy voice for the huyền tone while another male speaker from Hanoi has modal voice for the huyền.
  7. ^ Phạm (2003:45)
  8. ^ Hannas (1997:88)
  9. ^ Thompson (1965)
  10. ^ Nguyễn (1997)
  11. ^ Đoàn (1980)


  • 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", 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 
  • Đoàn, Thiện Thuật (1980), Ngữ âm tiếng Việt, Hà Nội: Đại học và Trung học Chuyên nghiệp 
  • Đoàn, Thiện Thuật; Nguyễn, Khánh Hà, Phạm, Như Quỳnh. (2003). A Concise Vietnamese Grammar (For Non-Native Speakers). Hà Nội: Thế Giới Publishers, 2001.
  • Earle, M. A. (1975). An acoustic study of northern Vietnamese tones. Santa Barbara: Speech Communications Research Laboratory, Inc.
  • 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, 223–232.
  • Hannas, William (1997), Asia's Orthographic Dilemma, University of Hawaii Press 
  • Haudricourt, André-Georges. (1949). Origine des particularités de l'alphabet vietnamien. Dân Việt-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.
  • Hoàng, Thị Châu. (1989). Tiếng Việt trên các miền đất nước: Phương ngữ học. Hà Nội: Khoa học xã hội.
  • Michaud, Alexis (2004), Final consonants and glottalization: New perspectives from Hanoi Vietnamese, 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 
  • Nguyễn, Đăng-Liêm (1970), Vietnamese pronunciation, PALI language texts: Southeast Asia., Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 0-87022-462-X 
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà. (1955). Quốc-ngữ: The modern writing system in Vietnam. Washington, D. C.
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà. (1959). Hòa's Vietnamese-English dictionary. Saigon. (Revised as Nguyễn 1966 & 1995).
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà. (1966). Vietnamese-English dictionary. Rutland, VT: C.E. Tuttle Co. (Revised version of Nguyễn 1959).
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà. (1992). Vietnamese phonology and graphemic borrowings from Chinese: The Book of 3,000 Characters revisited. Mon-Khmer Studies, 20, 163–182.
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà. (1995). NTC's Vietnamese-English dictionary (rev. ed.). Lincolnwood, IL.: NTC Pub. Group. (Revised & expanded version of Nguyễn 1966).
  • Nguyễn, Đình-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.
  • Nguyễn, Đình-Hoà (1997), Vietnamese: Tiếng Việt không son phấn, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 1-55619-733-0 
  • Nguyễn, Văn Lợi; Edmondson, Jerold A (1998), Tones and voice quality in modern northern Vietnamese: Instrumental case studies, Mon-Khmer Studies 28: 1–18 
  • Phạm, 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.
  • Phạm, Hoà Andrea (2003), Vietnamese Tone – A New Analysis, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-96762-7 
  • Phạm, Hoà Andrea (2006), Vietnamese Rhyme, Southwest Journal of Linguistics 25: 107–142 
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), Saigon phonemics, Language (Language, Vol. 35, No. 3) 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232 
  • Thompson, Laurence (1967), The history of Vietnamese final palatals, Language (Language, Vol. 43, No. 1) 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 0-8248-1117-8 
  • Thurgood, Graham. (2002). Vietnamese and tonogenesis: Revising the model and the analysis. Diachronica, 19 (2), 333–363.

External links[edit]