Differentiating the Vowels in Luke and Look

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When learning to cue, it can be tough to recognize and correctly cue the difference between /uo͞oue/ (as is Luke) and /ʊo͝ooo/ (as in look). 

/uo͞oue/ (chin placement) /ʊo͝ooo/ (throat placement)
suit soot
who’d hood
fool full
stewed stood
cooed could
shoed should
kooky cookie


Like many phonemes, variation can occur by dialect. In certain areas of the country (e.g., New York and New Jersey), it is not uncommon for words like room, roof, and broom to be pronounced with /ʊo͝ooo/ and cued at the throat placement. 


Some words are especially tricky due to their spelling. Consider the words put and putt. They differ in spelling but the addition of an additional letter Tt. How do they differ in pronunciation? When cued these words actually differ in the vowel building block – put is cued at thge throat placement and putt is cued with a side-down movement.

R-Colored Vowels

R-colored vowels are notoriously difficult to recognize at first. There is also some variation among “or” words. (See r-colored vowels for more information). Some dialects pronounce “or” words with /uo͞oue/ (at the chin placement) and many dialects have certain words that may use /ʊo͝ooo/: tour, sure



  • /luˈk/
  • /lueˈk/
  • /lo͞oˈk/
  • 6c2s


  • /lʊˈk/
  • /looˈk/
  • /lo͝oˈk/
  • 6t2s


  • /rʊˈm/
  • /rooˈm/
  • /ro͝oˈm/
  • 3t5s


  • /rʊˈf/
  • /rooˈf/
  • /ro͝oˈf/
  • 3t5s


  • /brʊˈm/
  • /brooˈm/
  • /bro͝oˈm/
  • 4s3t5s


  • /pʊˈt/
  • /pooˈt/
  • /po͝oˈt/
  • 1t5s


  • /pʌˈt/
  • /puhˈt/
  • /pŭˈt/
  • 1sd5s


  • /tʊˈr/
  • /tooˈr/
  • /to͝oˈr/
  • 5t3s


  • /ʃʊˈr/
  • /shooˈr/
  • /sho͝oˈr/
  • 6t3s