I cannot help but perceive the [i:] in be as "lighter" (higher in pitch) than the [æ] in cat.
Boot sounds even lower (when not altering the pitch intentionally).

Is that self-persuasion or could a more closed mouth (or tongue) position lead to a higher pitch?

  • 2
    I think this is just "self-persuasion". Singers and lyricists would have real problems if they had to allow for any such effect. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 16:31
  • Linguistics
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 6:49
  • @Kris Yeah right, sorry. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 7:32

2 Answers 2


Different vowels certainly have very different mixtures of overtones/formants. It's possible that this is what you're responding to. "Pitch", however, refers to the fundamental tone.


I think it is self-persuasion. Personally, I think it is a narration property that is a positive attribute. Personally, monotone narration seems less desirable regardless of the content.

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