JA (iohanne) wrote in linguaphiles,

Italian Vowels

I've been brushing up on my Italian, little by little. I took a couple of courses in high school long before I formally studied linguistics at university. I happened to glance at Wikipedia's phonology page for Italian and lo and behold!, Italian has seven vowels - all phonemic - not the five that we were taught in high school. I've noticed in my pronunciation that I sometimes instinctively do make the distinction between the close-mid (/e o/ i.e. anche, giorni) and open-mid (/ɛ ɔ/ i.e. tempo, sposa) vowels but sometimes I don't. I'm a little horrified. I feel like I have to go back and re-learn the pronunciation of every vocabulary word I've ever learned! ARGH.

Would I sound like an idiot if I went to Italy and made a mess of my e's and o's or would it be fine? If not fine, any suggestions on how to remedy this speech deficit of mine?

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