Vowels

The Tagalog vowels are i, e, a, o, and u. Generally, these sounds maintain their pronunciation (or phonetic properties) regardless of the sounds around them. Consecutive vowels are generally articulated with a glottal stop intervening between them. The chart here shows the articulatory properties of the vowels:

Tongue Position

   Front   

  Central      Back    
High i

--

u
Mid e

--

o
Low --

a

--

The mid vowels e and o are relatively new additions assimilated from Spanish. Listen to the following pairs of contrastive sounds:

spkr.gif (282 bytes)  i spkr.gif (282 bytes)  e spkr.gif (282 bytes)  u spkr.gif (282 bytes)  o
misa
(mass)
mesa
(table)
uso
(fad)
oso
(bear)