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    #1

    Exclamation y = /ai/or /i/ ???

    Hi!

    I would like to know if there is any specific rule about the pronounciation of "y", when we should read it as /i/ and when we should read it as /ai/.

    Thanks!

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: y = /ai/or /i/ ???

    Quote Originally Posted by lenareis View Post
    Hi!

    I would like to know if there is any specific rule about the pronounciation of "y", when we should read it as /i/ and when we should read it as /ai/.

    Thanks!
    One rule that helps some of the time: in Anglo-Saxon words, it's usually /ai/ in final position, /j/ in initial, in French words borrowed by English, it's usually /i/.

  2. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: y = /ai/or /i/ ???

    Quote Originally Posted by lenareis View Post
    Hi!

    I would like to know if there is any specific rule about the pronounciation of "y", when we should read it as /i/ and when we should read it as /ai/.

    Thanks!
    Y at the end of a word

    _ Pronounced i in most words of two or more syllables (healthy, easy).
    _ Pronounced ai in one syllable word (my, try), words where the stress is on the last syllable (reply, deny), and words ending in -ify (clarify, terrify).

    Y in the middle of a word

    _ Pronounced i when it is between consonants (symtom, physics).
    _ Pronounced ai when the y is followed by a consonant + e (tyre) or with words (of Greek origin) beginning psy- or hyp- (psychiatrist).

    hypnotist and hypocrite are exceptions pronounced i .
    Last edited by mara_ce; 14-Sep-2009 at 17:00.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: y = /ai/or /i/ ???

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    Y at the end of a word

    1. _ Pronounced i in most words of two or more syllables (healthy, easy).
    This includes most adjectives and adverbs. (easily)

    2. _ Pronounced ai in one syllable word (my, try), words where the stress is on the last syllable (reply, deny), and words ending in -ify (clarify, terrify).
    Exceptions: key (which is a special version of 1. as in turkey, monkey)

    3. Where y occurs as a diphthong following another vowel
    /ei/ - grey, gray, display, array ...
    /oi/ - boy, ploy, destroy, enjoy ...
    /ai/ - guy (uncommon diphtong with 'uy')


    Y
    in the middle of a word

    4. _ Pronounced i (actually short i, /I/) when it is between consonants (symptom, physics).

    Exceptions in /ai/ when followed by:

    /b/ - cyborg
    /c/ -
    cycle, cyclic, cycad

    /g/ -
    bygone
    /l/ -
    cylose
    /m/
    - cymose,
    /n/
    synovial, synovitis, gynaecology
    /p/ - typo, typographical
    /r/ tyre, (and other words fitting the next rule); pyro-, Tyrrhenian
    /s/ - lysosome
    /th/ - python
    /ph/ - syphon


    5. _ Pronounced ai when the y is followed by a consonant + e (tyre)
    (This rule would include a lot of those in rule 4. if it extended to "followed by a consonant + vowel")

    6.
    with words (of Greek origin) beginning psy- or hyp- (psychiatrist).

    hypnotist and hypocrit are exceptions pronounced i .
    7. Pronounced as schwa in some words, where stress in not on that syllable:
    syringe, labyrinth, synonymous,

    (Your version was pretty good mara, so I just amended it a little.)
    This is still not comprehensive, of course.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: y = /ai/or /i/ ???

    Good rule and additions

    I'd just add that 'hypocrite' has a final E - which makes both vowels irregular. It's as if the irregularity has run amok and not been 'turned off' after shortening the first vowel! So both are shortened.

    Examples of words without this shortening are 'hypothesis' and 'hyper-sensitive'.

    A further example of a word with shortening: 'hysteria'.

    b

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