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I have a few questions about the position of the jaw and the relationship between consonants and vowels in tajweed..

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Assalaamu 'alaykum,
I have a few questions about the position of the jaw and the relationship between consonants and vowels in tajweed.

My question is about the letters waaw and yaa'. Are the long vowel versions of these letters actually the same sound as the consonant version the only difference being that they are held out longer than they would be in the case of a shaddah? In other words would the "ee" sound in tajweed be the same as the "iyy" sound in nabiyy disregarding the accent (nabr). If this is the case then the voweled yaa' that serves as a consonant would have the same lowering motion of the jaw as its long vowel and short vowel counterpart, right? Also how is the waaw or yaa' distinguished from its vowel when the vowel is its lengthened counterpart, for instance Dawood and any time the combination wu or yi occurs.

Thank you very much.
Assalaamu Alaykum

Answer

Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

The long vowel versions (meaning medd letters) of the letters  and  have the same sound as the dhammah and kasrah respectively, but are longer than the single count vowels.   The  or  that are not lengthened and have an accompanying vowel have the jaw movement of the vowel, not of the letter.  For example, the  in  will have an accompanying dhammah, and the  in the same word will have an accompanying lower of the jaw.  The letter  itself in this case is produced by separation between the middle of the tongue and the roof of the mouth accompanied by a dhammah of the two lips.  The first of the two letter  in this word is produced by a circling of the two lips with an accompanying opening of the mouth. In other words, the lips start off in a circle and then separate as the mouth opens. The second   in the word  is again produced by a circling of the two lips with an accompanying lowering of the jaw. The lips start out in a circle and separate as the jaw lowers.  We do not like to compare to English, since the sounds are never quite the same, but in this case to assist you we will do so; the sound of the first  is similar (not identical) to the letters “wo” of the English word “wow”, and the sound of the second  is similar to the English word “we.”.  The  is similar (again, not identical) to the word “you”, but the dhammah is more pronounced in Arabic and especially in recitation of the Qur’an.

In the word there is a lowering of the jaw because of the kasrah preceding the  and the emphasis on the

When the  has a kasrah or the  a dhammah, it is distinguished from the lengthened form of these letters (medd letters) only in the timing of the vowel or medd.  In the case of , there is a  saakinah (notice it is small) after the  with the dhammah, so there would be a two count lengthening of the sound when not stopping on the word.  On the other hand, in the word the  has a dhammah but not lengthened.  The only difference in the sound between the two words is the lengthened  sound in  

Please note, we have divided your questions and will answer them separately, insha’ Allah. 

You are most welcome.  Wa assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. 

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