definition of an unchangeable vowel


New Member
English - American
Hello, I know that some vowels in Hebrew reduce to schwas and some do not change. Is there a rule that tells us which vowels are unchangeable and which are not?
  • radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    I don't know about a rule, but, just off the top of my head, I can think of a few categories of vowels which are usually unchangeable: vowels that are historically long (i.e., long by nature) and diphthongs; vowels that are long on account of compensatory lengthening; and short vowels in closed non-final syllables. I'm sure others will be able to add to or refine this list.

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    How does one know which vowels were historically long and which were historically short and became lengthened over time?