Tristan Alexander McLeay <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> Which leads me to wonder... To me, who speaks only Australian English, all
> vowels that aren't in my version of English, except for [o] and [V] and
> ignoring length (i.e. [O:] exists, so [O]'s non-existance is excepted)
> sound like some warped version of /3\:/,

Haha!  My system of hearing sounds is a bit different, with L1
German. :-) But however, *most* sounds behave as you said, I agree.

I can easily distinguish [2], [9] and [@], though (German has them),
but most sounds, as you said, sound a bit like something in between
these.  These including (at least):
   [M]  (close back unrounded)
   [8]  (close-mid central rounded)
   [@\] (close-mid central unrounded)
   [7]  (close-mid back unrounded)
   [3]  (mid central unrounded)
   [3\] (mid central rounded)
   [V]  (open-mid back)

Others, however, sound more like [y] to me, like
   [1] (unrounded close center vowel)
   [}] (rounded close center vowel)

And finally, one group sounds like [O] or [a], something in between:
   [V] (open-mid back unrounded)
   [A] (open back unrounded)
   [Q] (open back rounded)
   [&] (open front rounded)

Or, yeah, one single sound is like a shabby [E]:
   [{] (open ~ open-mid front unrounded)

I should perhaps draw those onto a piece of paper to see where my
phoneme boundaries are. :-) Interesting enough, though, is that
rounding does not seem to have much effect: [1] and [}] both sound
like a dirty (rounded) [y] to me.