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Central Back
Long: i: u:
High Short:  i u
Nasalized:  ĩ ũ
Lower high: Short:  I
Long:  e:  o:
Higher mid Short:  e  o
Nasalized: õ
Meanmid: Short  E v
Lowermid: Short A
Long  a:
Low: Short  a
Nasalized ã

1. Phonetic Description of Bhumij Sounds



There are 20 vowel sounds in Bhumij. 4 are nasalized vowels and are restrcited in distribution. There are no rounded vowels among the front vowels. There is one unrounded vowel among the back vowels, viz. Ã. There are three central vowels, a, a:, ã. The decription of the vowel sound is given below:

[i], high front unrounded short vowel, is produced by raising the front part of the tongue as high as possible towards the hard palate. The tongue is tense and almost closes the air passage. The soft palate is raised to block the entry of air into the nasal passage. The vocal vibrate. The lips are tense and spread.






iIl^n ‘thickness’
intea ‘toy’
ia:?k^jIni ‘lier’
arki ‘liquor prepared out of a particular flower’
sII¸i ‘mosquiot’
sIñgi  ‘sun’

[I], lower high front unrounded short vowel, is produced like the previous vowel [i] except the tongue height which is slightly lower. The tongue and lips are lax.

nIl ‘honey bee’
jIma ‘bail’
čIju ‘worm’
jInIs ‘thing’
dIri ‘stone’
rImbIl ‘cloud’
hIrmhÃga ‘step brother’
thIñgn ‘to stand’

[i:] high front unrounded long vowel, is produced same as the vowel [i] except the length.

si:r ‘vein’
ti:ya ‘lamp’
ti:i ‘tin’
i:ni ‘sugar’
si:m ‘chicken’
si:i ‘ladder’
si:?t ‘to cut’

[e] highermind front unrounded short vowel, is produced as this: the front part of the tongue is raised and the tongue height

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