According to all English vowel chart, there is only one short i sound, so, it is the same sound in posItion and in rosEs, in the accents without the weak merger ? Thanks

  • I sense a slight difference in those two sounds, though not enough to be noticed unless you're listening for it.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 12, 2015 at 0:18
  • 1
    I don't know what "the weak merger is", but the unstressed vowel of "roses" can also be schwa or backed from lax i, and is sometimes transcribed with barred-i. I don't think there is a lot of agreement about the exact quality of English unstressed vowels.
    – Greg Lee
    Jul 12, 2015 at 0:51
  • 1
    The /ɪ/ is stressed in position and unstressed in roses. This means these two vowels are going to be pronounced differently (at least slightly) in many dialects of English. But if we tried to use a different IPA symbol for all the stressed/unstressed pairs of vowels, we might run out of symbols. And there's no reason to ... there are no minimal pairs because the stress is different. And the sounds are quite similar in most dialects. Jul 12, 2015 at 2:00
  • Related and also related and also related.
    – tchrist
    Feb 13, 2023 at 3:42

1 Answer 1


The quality of the KIT vowel in position and roses (for speakers who use a KIT vowel in such plurals) is likely to be slightly different, at least in terms of length. However, it is the same phoneme in both words for such speakers. The two phonetic vowels which might occur in each word would be allophones of the same phoneme. So such speakers would recognise the vowels in position and roses as being the same vowel, namely the KIT vowel:

  • pəzɪʃn
  • rəʊzɪz
  • 1
    How do you know it's the same phoneme?
    – Greg Lee
    Jul 12, 2015 at 2:31
  • @GregLee Given that it's widely recognised to be, for speakers without a weak merger, let me turn that on it's head and ask you why we shouldn't think it is? Jul 12, 2015 at 2:40
  • I asked first. .
    – Greg Lee
    Jul 12, 2015 at 2:43
  • @GregLee Tough! Jul 12, 2015 at 2:46
  • @GregLee Don't really see the point rolling through basic phoneme stuff unless there's some reason. Jul 12, 2015 at 3:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.