Vowels

There are twelve vowels in Khuzdul.  Ten of them are grouped five pairs, with each pair having one short vowel and one long vowel.  The other two are considered as "reduced" vowels, and mostly occur as a result of morphological and phonological processes.  The list of vowels is as follows:


Vowels in English Orthography:

  Front Central Back
 Close i    î
  u    û
 Mid-close e    ê
  o    ô
 Mid  ë  (e) 
 Mid-open   ä  (a)
 Open  a    â
 


    ( ) - indicates this vowel can be written without diaseris over the letter


Vowels in IPA:

  Front Central Back
 Close i    iː  u    uː
 Mid-close e    eː  o    oː
 Mid  ə 
 Mid-open   ʌ
 Open  a    aː 


Pronunciation and Allophones


< i >  and  < î >
  • both pronounced as " i " in "machine"
  • < î > is vocalized for a longer time than < i >


< e >  and  < ê >
  • < ê > pronounced as " e " in "mesa"
  • < e > pronounced as " e " in "mesa" when stressed
  • < e > pronounced as " e " in "bet" when unstressed
  • < ê > is vocalized for a longer time than < e >


< a >  and  < â >
  • both pronounced as " a " in "father"
  • < a > pronounced as " a " in "father" when stressed
  • < a > pronounced as " u " in "butter" when unstressed
  • < â > is vocalized for a longer time than < a >


< u >  and  < û >
  • both pronounced as " oo " in "moon"
  • < û > is vocalized for a longer time than < u >

< o >  and  < ô >
  • both pronounced as " o " in "note"
  • < ô > is vocalized for a longer time than < o >

< ë >  -  pronounced as " e " in "butter"
  • this sound occurs in English, but not as a unique vowel
  • pronunciation can drift towards [ ɛ ]
    • pronounced as " e " in "bet"
    • easier for native English speakers to think of this vowel as a "short e"
  • very short pronunciation

< ä >  -  pronounced as " u " in "butter"
  • very short pronunciation


Diphthongs

Diphthongs do not occur naturally, in that they are not separate, free-standing entities.  Instead, they are the result of a syllable ending in < y > or < w >.  When this happens, the coda consonant is changed to < i > or < o >  respectively, resulting in a vowel cluster.


< ai >
  • pronounced as " igh " in "high"

< au >
  • pronounced as " ou " in "loud"