Ventriloquist vowels

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 1 16:40:10 UTC 2012

Ventriloquist vowels

I was wondering how ventriloquists make speech sounds without moving their lips.  I tried it and can do it holding teeth stable and by moving tongue only.  Thus, I think that vowel sounds basically come from vocal chords and tongue only with movement of the rest of the mouth as an assist to make it easier and better to say them. These are how the 17 vowels of US English go:
For the 5 "long" vowels the tongue is highest for long e ~ee (as in "see"), then progressively lowers for long a ~ae (as in "Mae"), long i ~ie (as in "pie"), long o ~oe (as in "toe"), and long u ~ue (as in "true")  which forces the tongue down low and back a little for ~ue.

For the 5 "short"  vowels, the tongue is highest for short a ~a (as in "bad"), then is progressively lower for short e ~e (as in "bed"), short i ~i (as in "win", short o ~oo (as in "wood") and short u ~u (as in "mud").

For ah/awe the tongue is slightly low for "ah" ~aa (as in "Saab") but at very lowest for "aw" ~au (as in "laud").

For the three "r-influenced" vowels, the tongue is middle range for ~air (as in "fair') then drops slightly with ~er (as in "her") and lowest with ~or (as in "for"} but not as low as for "awe".  The tongue cups upward and pulls back for the "r" sound.

Tom Zurinskas, Conn 20 yrs, Tenn 3, NJ 33, now Fl 9.
See how English spelling links to sounds at

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