Critique of the IPA vowel quadrangle, especially the use of vowel points in it

Research output: Working paper


The globally widespread kind of description of vowels by points in the IPA quadrangle with the cardinal vowels as references is very often not trustworthy in its detailed specification. The reasonable interpretation of a dot registration is namely that the vowel quality is very narrowly pinpointed. However, most phoneticians do not have the capacity to judge vowels in this detailed way. Consequently, the point notation use of the quadrangle should be abandoned, except when the judges are in command of the cardinal vowels.
This line of reasoning concerns a short time perspective. Seen in a larger perspective, other shortcomings of the quadrangle should lead to its abandonment. These shortcomings are discussed shortly.


  • Per Lindblad
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers, Lund University, Dept. of Linguistics

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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