Height is a vocalic feature that refers to the vertical position of the tongue body, specifically its distance from the roof of the mouth. There are three levels of height: high, low, and mid. Height references the placement of the articulators necessary in the production of certain sounds; for vowels, this can be difficult. Nevertheless, height is used to distinguish between natural classes of vowel and in tandem with frontness and backness describes a wide range of the vocalic continuum.
- [i, ɪ, ʊ, u] are high vowels,
- [e, ɛ, ɔ, o, ʌ, ə] are mid vowels,
- [æ, ɑ] are low vowels.
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- Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Ladefoged, D. (2010) A Course in Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing.