Modern Greek phonology | vowels


The vowels of Standard Modern Greek on a vowel chart. Adapted from Arvaniti (2007, p. 28).

Greek has a system of five vowels /i, u, e, o, a/. The first two have qualities approaching their respective cardinal vowels [i, u], the mid vowels /e, o/ are true-mid [, ] and the open /a/ is near-open central [ɐ][15]

There is no phonemic length distinction, but vowels in stressed syllables are pronounced somewhat longer [iˑ, uˑ, eˑ, oˑ, aˑ] than in unstressed syllables. Furthermore, vowels in stressed syllables are more peripheral, but the difference is not large. In casual speech, unstressed /i/ and /u/ in the vicinity of voiceless consonants may become devoiced or even elided.[16]

Examples for vowel phonemes[17]
πας /pas/ 'you go' subj.
πες /pes/ 'say' imper.
πεις /pis/ 'you say' subj.
πως /pos/ 'that' conj.
που /pu/ 'where'