Monophthong

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For spellings consisting of two vowel letters that are pronounced as a single vowel sound, see digraph (orthography).

A monophthong (Greek monóphthongos[1] from mónos "single" and phthóngos "sound") is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation. The monophthongs can be contrasted with diphthongs, where the vowel quality changes within the same syllable, and hiatus, where two vowels are next to each other in different syllables.

Sound changes[edit]

The conversions of monophthongs to diphthongs (diphthongization), and of diphthongs to monophthongs (monophthongization), are major elements of language change and are likely the cause of further changes.

In some languages, due to monophthongization, graphemes that originally represented diphthongs now represent monophthongs.

See also[edit]

References[edit]