A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell


24. Vowels are called open or close according as the mouth in speaking them is more open or less open. The most open vowel is ᾱ; in speaking it both tongue and lips are as much as possible out of the way. In ῑ the tongue narrows the opening; its edges lie close to the teeth, the breath issuing along the middle. In ου the lips are rounded so as to narrow the opening, while the tongue is drawn back. In ῡ the opening is narrowed by the tongue as for ῑ and by the lips as for oυ. Thus ῑ, ῡ, and ου are the closest vowel sounds. Between ᾱ and ῑ are η, ε, and ει; between ᾱ and oυ are ω and o. These relations are suggested in the following table:

η ω
ε ει ο
Close (tongue) ι υ ου Close (lips)

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