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2.1.2. 舌位(Tongue Positions)


The position of your tongue is crucial when pronouncing vowels. The following shows the corresponding tongue position for each vowel sound. We control the shape of our mouth by moving our jaw. The wider we open our jaw, the lower and further back the tongue position will be.



The position of your tongue in your mouth determines the size of the resonance space for airflow, which, when paired with different mouth shapes, produces various vowel sounds.

虽然舌身位置很重要,但 “控制舌身位置” 对绝大多数人来说并不现实 —— 你试试就知道了。

While the position of the vocal cords is crucial, trying to consciously control it isn't realistic for most people - just give it a go and you'll see.

以下是朗读一些单词的时候发声器官活动情况的 3D 展示[2],可以格外注意一下舌身的位置变动:

Here's a 3D illustration showcasing the activity of articulators when pronouncing certain words, please pay special attention to changes of the tongue positions:

幸运的是,练习美式发音的时候,只有一种情况需要我们主动控制舌身位置并专门练习 —— ə 的儿化音(ɚɝː),参见 2.1.5

Fortunately, when practicing American pronunciation, there's only one situation where we need to actively control and practice the position of the vocal cords - the r-colored vowel sound in ə (represented as ɚ and ɝː). Please refer to section 2.1.5 for more information.

  1. Figure adapted from FUNDAMENTALS OF PHONETICS: a practical guide for students 5th Edition, by Larry H. Small, 2019. Page 55 ↩︎

  2. ↩︎