Completely rebuilt on July 01, 99
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Main vowel diagram . Main Vowel Bases and base overlays . Semivowel or approximant

The Main Vowel Diagram

The next images are the main vowels used Cardinal Vowel diagrams;
the left one is with IPA (Thanks, it's from International Phonetic Alphabet), and
the right is with EL phonetics, corresponding each other position.

# The part of the tongue that is raised:
front > center > back. (from the left to the right)
# Close, mid-close, mid-open, open are the extent to which the tongue rises in the direction of the palate.
# The main kind of opening made at the lips is symbolically shown by the shape of a vowel base in EL, and a combination of them or a combination of a vowel and another diacritic forms a phonetic base overlay.

* Americans use various mid central vowels instead of the central schwa, so I added a rhotic one in the EL version.
* I use technical terms sometimes with casual English explanations.
Technical terms are more explained here.

Joe Pike in California made a robot sound set for EL vowels above.

The Main Vowel Bases and Base Overlays

* In this script, the alphabet in [ ] is International Phonetic Alphabet.
* Technical terms are used sometimes with casual English explanations.

The main vowel bases

[i], [ e ], [a], (Cardinal vowel 16) show each basic vowel with natural lips;
[o], [u],[Y] show each basic vowel with formed lips.

Base Overlays

# Two vowel bases are compounded on top of each other usually to show the middle sound of the vowels.
(NB): [o] works as the lips rounded diacritic and gives round lips
to another vowel or consonant in a base overlay and does not change the tongue raising position
even if it's compounded with another vowel.

# Many more distinguishing vowels are available with other diacritics which change the shift of vocal organs, such as:
( more open ), ( less open),
(backward or inner), (forward or outer),
(nasalized), etc.

# Vowel bases can be compounded with an approximant (produced by breathing
without friction through between almost approached organs of a certain consonant)
and represent a little different approximants from the originals.

# Some of the vowel bases are compounded with a consonant,
and work as diacritics with each tongue position or the shape of lips.
It needs some vowel or nasal situation at the same time to produce a consonant
that uses the vocal cord + glottis (for [h]) or the pharynx.

Length and tones of vowels

# When a vowel symbol is alone, it is a short syllable vowel.

# When two vowels are lining side by side without any syllabic sign,
these are pronounced as a diphthong shortly pronounced for each one.
# To show continuous independent vowels, compound (syllabic diacritic)
on top of the left vowel character to show that phoneme is one independent syllable. E.g.:
: The vowel of [ai] of 'high' in English; pronounced as a diphthong.
: The vowels of [ai] in Japanese, meaning ‘love’; pronounced as two syllables.
# To change the length longer or adding tones or accents or some extra trilling vibration, the particular symbol is compounded or is put right next to the vowel. For more, see the diacritics section .

The main vowel bases

* For convenience to check the dictionary, each base number is in ( ) or { }.

[ i ](04) Cardinal vowel 1:
Close front unrounded ( The symbolic shape of a horizontal line to show the very narrow extent ); when it compounded with a consonant, it works for palatalization: raising tongue to a high front position at the same time as the primary articulation is made.

[ Y ](13) Almost fully close front rounded vowel (The base symbolizes the power of the lips horizontally widely rounded ) [ e ] (ge) Cardinal vowel 2:
Close-mid front unrounded (The base symbolizes a little opened mouth to pronounce this ) [ a ] (67) Cardinal vowel 4:
Open front unrounded (The base symbolizes the large space in the mouth ) [ o ] (34) Cardinal vowel 7:
Close-mid back rounded( The symbolic shape of the rounded lips ); work as the rounded diacritic in a base overlay; (with #63) is for a half rounded. (30) Cardinal vowel 16:
Close back unrounded (The base shape symbolizes the small mouth opening pronouncing this ); when it's compounded with a consonant, it works for velarization (to make the tongue raise to a high back position at the same time as the primary articulation is made.) [u] Cardinal vowel 8:
Close back rounded (The base symbolizes of the pointed lips ); when it's compounded with a consonant, it works for labialization (lips are excessibly rounded at the same time as the primary articulation is made).

Semivowel or approximant

These sounds are produced by breathing through a narrow passage
between two vocal organs shown by certain consonant(s).

When each symbol is independent, it works like a vowel,
but it usually works as a consonant in front of a vowel.
See the consonants and diacritics sections for each element in these base overlays. [l](14)Alveolar lateral approximant( The base symbolizes the tongue dividing the air on the both side ); lateral release diacritic in a base overlay (14) (36)Alveolar approximant
(The base shape symbolizes the tongue whose tip raises and bends backward);
it works for rhoticization: with curled up tongue (36, retroflex)
or {36,63} { the tongue tip raised(36) loosely(63) }:
Rhotic open-mid central unrounded vowel (Americans pronounces in various ways for schwa)

{63,66} Dental approximant: loosened (63) voiced dental (66)
{36,64} Retroflex approximant: emphasized (64)
{38,63} [υ] Labiodental approximant: voiced labiodental(38)

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the main reference: International Phonetic Alphabet and 7 bit representation of the IPA