There are five vowels in Kansai-ben: あ, い, う, え, and お--the same as standard Japanese. According to Yamashita (2004) 1, Kansai-ben is an easy to understand dialect for Japanese learners because people tend to pronounce vowels more clearly.
To take a single case, unlike standard Japanese where [i] and [u] sound are often devoiced, devoicing? these vowels rarely occurs in Kansai-ben. For example, in standard Japanese 聞く is usually pronounced [k(i)ku], 行きますか [(i)kimasuka], and です [des(u)]. However, in Kansai-ben, people clearly pronounce these [i] and [u] sounds.
Another case is the pronunciation of う. In Kansai, people round their lips more than they do in standard Japanese. This has the effect of making the sound more clear.
- 1. Yamashita, Y. (2004) Kansai-ben Koogi, Tokyo: Kodansha