From an articulatory point of view, semi-vowels have vowel properties in that the airflow is not blocked by narrowing the vocal tract when speaking (in contrast to consonants ), but they differ from vowels in that they do not form the syllable core , but belong to the syllable shell such as the [j] in the words Portion and Fjord .
Half-vowels, like other approximants, are generally created by a narrower constriction than a vowel. However, this constriction is not sufficient to generate friction, so that one could speak of a fricative sound . Hence the term approximant : the tongue only approaches the point of articulation which, if it were touched even closer by the tongue, would produce a fricative.
- [ j ] voiced palatal approximant : Meets virtually the German J [ j ] . The German "ich-sound" [ ç ] , however, is voiceless , some closed and in a fricative.
- [ ɥ ] labialisierter voiced palatal approximant: In French often the written occurs and as a semi-vowel [ ɥ ] on: 'nuit' [nɥi] ; 'fuir' [fɥi: r] ; a labialisiertes J [ j ] , or a unsilbisches ü [ y ] . This sound is very rare in German, but occurs in words like Libyen and Zyanose .
- [ ɰ ] Voiced velar approximant
- [ w ] labio-velar approximant : Even as the English w in water , what is a semi-vowel.
according to IPA (2005)
|Taps / flaps||ⱱ||ɾ||ɽ|
|¹ The labialised variant [ w ] was inserted here as a voiced velar approximant ( half vowel ) instead of the non-labialised variant [ ɰ ].|