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See the IPA vowel chart enter image description here

A front vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a front vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far in front as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would make it a consonant. Wiki

A back vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.Wiki

A close vowel, also known as a high vowel, is any in a class of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Wiki

An open vowel is a vowel sound in which the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth. Open vowels are sometimes also called low vowels in reference to the low position of the tongue.Wiki

The front - close vowel (the long /i/) is pretty clear. The tongue is as close as possible to the roof of the mouth & as far as possible in the mouth. So, it should look like this following picture: enter image description here

Let say, if we have a coordinator of x & y, then the front of the tongue should be in position y=1. At this moment, the mouth is almost closed.

Now, let study other front vowels, ok, the /e/ is in close-mid- front position. So the tongue is as far as possible in the mouth & the position of front of the tongue is a bit further away from the roof of the mouth, in comparing to the /i/. So, I think it should look like the following picture:

enter image description here

So, I think in order to make the /e/ sound, we can just fix the tongue position as of the /i/ but we open our mouth a bit, because when we open our mouth a bit the front of the tongue will of course a bit further from the roof of mouth.

I don't think to make /e/ we should MAKE THE FRONT OF THE TONGUE LOWER!!!!. But rather I think we SHOULD FIX THE TONGUE POSITION AS OF THE /i/ BUT OPEN OUR MOUTH A BIT.

Similarly, We can do the same thing for the /ɛ/. We can we can just fix the tongue position as of the /i/ & /e/ but our mouth is a bit bigger than /e/. Like the following picture

enter image description here

And also similarly, We can do the same thing for the æ. We can we can just fix the tongue position as of the /i/, /e/ & /ɛ/ but our mouth is a bit bigger than /ɛ/. Like the following picture: enter image description here

You can argue that if we make the curve of the front of the tongue less curved then it will break the FRONT VOWEL principle where the front of the tongue has to be as far as possible.

We can apply the same principle for back-vowel

Could you Clarify the Front - Back & Close - Open position & other positions in between in IPA vowel chart?

  • You may want to ask some of these phonetics questions at the Linguistics stack exchange. If they're about English pronunciation specifically, it makes sense to ask them here, but this one seems to be more general. – sumelic Feb 7 '16 at 4:34

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