Our new 4th Edition of the Color Vowel® Chart is here! Featuring sleek, rounded lines, our new Chart illustrates how vowel sounds fall along a continuum of production.
Now learners can practice their pronunciation anywhere, anytime! Our mini-Chart (the size of a business card) displays The Color Vowel® Chart on one side and a list of words on the other illustrating the multiple spelling patterns for eight of the vowel sounds (colors). Learners can listen to the words and phrases on our SoundCloud page.
The COLOR VOWEL® Chart, 4th Edition
Welcome to our new 4th Edition of the COLOR VOWEL® Chart. If you’ve used the COLOR VOWEL® Chart in the past, you will notice some changes:
Rounded lines: Our new, curved lines help convey vowel production as a continuum of sound rather than as isolated vowel sounds. For more information, watch our video, “Color Vowel Yoga” on YouTube.
A bigger CUP OF MUSTARD Because vowel reduction and, specifically, the use of schwa (/ə/) is so prevalent in spoken English, we’ve allocated a larger visual space to represent this sound. Note that A CUP OF MUSTARD represents both the stressed /ʌ/ (as in “cup” and “mustard”) and the unstressed /ə/ (as heard when “a” and “of” are said naturally as part of a phrase).
Swapped positions for BROWN COW and TURQUOISE TOY: We moved BROWN out to the periphery of the Chart to provide it with a more accurate visual representation as a diphthong that originates at BLACK (/æ/) or OLIVE (/a/) and moves around and up through BLUE (/u/). Meanwhile TURQUOISE is now more appropriately placed to convey how it moves across the vocal tract from back vowel AUBURN or ROSE to high front vowel GREEN.
A gray line between OLIVE and AUBURN: The interesting thing about OLIVE (/a/) and AUBURN (/ɔ/) is that they are distinct for many, but not all, speakers of English. The gray line between the OLIVE and AUBURN subtly highlights the so-called “back vowel merger” prevalent in many North American varieties of English.
Note that our “Classic” 3rd edition of the Color Vowel Chart (featuring straight lines between each Color Vowel) still works perfectly well and there is no need to immediately ‘upgrade’ to the 4th Edition. However, as 3rd Edition products run out, we will not be reprinting that inventory.
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