A vowel that has a single perceived auditory quality. Contrasted with diphthong, triphthong.
- The monophthongs and diphthongs total 14 vowel sounds, perhaps the smallest vowel system of any long-established variety of English.
- Urban Texas is also abandoning the ‘y’ sound after ‘n’, ‘d' and ‘t’, exchanging diphthongs for monophthongs.
- A study of Tunisian women in Morocco showed that older women categorically use diphthongs/aw/and/aj /, while middle-aged women alternate between diphthongs and monophthongs.
- Example sentences
- The allegation that the president said ‘abugah-rayp’ would mean that he got it almost exactly right (here I'm ignoring the details of the length and monophthongal quality of the [e] vowel)
Early 17th century: from Greek monophthongos, from monos 'single' + phthongos 'sound'.
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