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Very rarely, the nucleus of a single syllable may contain three vowel sounds that quickly glide together; these compound sounds are known as triphthongs.
There are three triphthongs that are generally agreed upon in American English: /aʊə/ (“ah-oo-uh”), /aɪə/ (“ah-ih-uh”), and /jʊə/ (“ee-oo-uh”). These always come before an R sound in a word.
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 (trĭf′thông′, -thŏng′, trĭp′-)
A compound vowel sound resulting from the succession of three simple ones and functioning as a unit.

triph·thon′gal (-thông′əl, -thŏng′əl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈtrɪfθɒŋ; ˈtrɪp-)
1. (Phonetics & Phonology) a composite vowel sound during the articulation of which the vocal organs move from one position through a second, ending in a third
2. (Phonetics & Phonology) a trigraph representing a composite vowel sound such as this
[C16: via New Latin from Medieval Greek triphthongos, from tri- + phthongos sound; compare diphthong]
triphˈthongal adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtrɪf θɔŋ, -θɒŋ, ˈtrɪp-)

1. a monosyllabic speech-sound sequence made up of three differing vowel qualities, as in some pronunciations of our.
[1590–1600; < New Latin triphthongus < Medieval Greek tríphthongos with three vowels =tri- tri- + phthóngos voice, sound]
triph•thong′al (-gəl) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[ˈtrɪfθɒŋ] Ntriptongo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A reader will further find an instructive treatment of the behavior of the diphthongs and triphthongs in the Hebrew of the DSS.
They are divided into "vowel glide"--beginning and ending with vowels (chapter VI, including a discussion of diphthongs, triphthongs, and vocal R)
The result is a triphthong. Alternatively, the formation of triphthongs has been explained by consonant fission (Viitso 2003:191-192).
[e], [3:], [[??]], [a:], [au] as well as centripetal diphthongs and triphthongs were also discarded for the following reasons: a) [e] cannot occur in stressed syllables (i.e.
Triphthongs: aIe (as in fire) cIe (as in royal) eue (as in lower)
Recognizing the stress pattern, diphthongs and triphthongs, sound-spelling discrepancy, little or no exposure and problems in recognizing the difference in individual sounds.
"Gentle Hop," as he was called by his classmates, notes each quirk of speech around him and writes lovingly of the Welsh he is slowly learning, which runs off the tongue "like oil by dipthongs and triphthongs" (131).
Therefore, it is not yet possible for us to claim any distinct linguistic features that are common to all speakers of Zimbabwean English, but, for example, we cannot deny the fact that its speakers avoid complex vowels such as phonemically long vowels, diphthongs and triphthongs in their speech.
We have many words with diphthongs and even "triphthongs"--leauwe (believe), kreauwe (quarrel), skriuwe (write).
Vowels in different languages and special vowels such as nasal, diphthongs and triphthongs, glides, consonants, legato singing are also reviewed.
Today, besides the Merap, only the Long Glat of the Mahakam and the Long Kiput of the Baram are known to share this feature (see Guerreiro 1995 and Blust 2002), as well as diphthongs and triphthongs. This suggests that these three subgroups probably lived together somewhere on the Baram, or that some of their neighbors had nasal vowels but that these were later lost in the process of migration and assimilation with other groups.