Vowels and consonants

Vowels and consonants
A vowel starts with closed glottis
A consonant starts with open glottis
Because vowels and consonants are speech-sounds, a definition of them must give
the essential difference in their pronunciation. Here I confine myself to the pronunciation of vowels and consonants (in normal speech, not in whispering) as it is in Western-Europe. The pronunciation-process of a vowel (when not preceded by a consonant) consists of four steps:
1) The glottis closes and the lungs bring together air before the closed glottis.
2) The glottis opens.
3) The released air makes vibrate the vocal cords: each vowel has the feature ‘- consonant’.
4) The vibrating air can leave the cavity of the mouth unhindered. It’s the shape of the cavity of the mouth that determines the characteristic quality (“timbre” in french) of each vowel.
Nota bene: If preceded by a consonant, it is the consonant that keeps the glottis opened for the following vowel.
The preceding procedure allows the following definition:
Vowels, in the physical point of view, are speech-sounds, the pronunciation of which starts by closing the glottis that opens immediately thereafter. The speech-air passes through the vibrating vocal cords and can leave the mouth unhindered. When preceded by a consonant the consonant keeps the glottis opened for the following vowel. The characteristic sound of each vowel is generated by the shape of the oral cavity.

Consonants, in the physical point of view, are speech-sounds the pronunciation of which starts with open glottis. The speech-air starts, vibrating or not, passing through the vocal cords and must leave the mouth hindered by other organs of speech.
Consonants pronounced with vibrating vocal cords have the feature + voice, those pronounced without vibrating vocal cords have the feature – voice.
So [h], [j] and [w] being pronounced with open glottis are consonants, more precisely semi-consonants. They are not vowels, neither semi-vowels.

So far my part of the vowel- and consonant-story. I can’t give any reference to this article, because its is the result of my own linguistic research during about 30 years. Libraries full of books and articles tell the rest about vowels and consonants.
Jo Bronneberg June 7, 2017