|Symbols||Pinyin Romanization||Place of Articulation||Manner of Articulation||Examples|
These three voewls can be linked with other vowels to form vowel combinations (combinations with F1, F2, F3 are diphthongs). They can be referred to as "medials" since they often follow initials and simultaneously introduce vowel stems and their own sounds are on the border-line between vowels (c.f. i, u, u) and consonants (c.f. (y)i, (w)u, (y)u). They also are known as "semi-vowels".
|F1||/(y)i/||front; high||unrounded|| /(y)i/
|F2||/(w)u/||back; high||lips rounded||
|F3||/(y)u/||front; high||lips rounded||
|2. Simple Vowels
The position of the tongue does not change at all from beginning to end of pronunciation.
|F4||/-a-/||central; low||lips open||
|F5||/-o-/||back, middle||lips rounded||
|F6||/-e-/||back; middle-upper||unrounded half-close||
|3. Diphthongs ºH
A second vowel is added to the end of One simple vowel. The two vowels blend together to make one sound.
|F8||/-ai/||diphthong||F4 + F1||
|F9||/-ei/||diphthong||F7 + F1||
|F10||/-ao/||diphthong||F4 + F2||
|F11||/-ou/||diphthong||F5 + F2||
|4. Finals with nasal endings
A nasal consonant is added to the end of a simple vowel.
|5. Retroflex (or "curled tongue" vowel)|