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  1. #1
    imakedon is offline Newbie
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    Default How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    26? Then what is the third letter in the word 'chateau' here? What about "naïve"?
    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Quote Originally Posted by imakedon View Post
    26? Then what is the third letter in the word 'chateau' here? What about "naïve"?
    Thanks.
    In English, there are 26 letters. And that word chateau is a French word, whose circumflex accent over the letter a (ˆ) shows that it has a different pronunciation from the letter without a sign over it; in English it's just an 'a'.

  3. #3
    imakedon is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Thanks.
    I thought M-Webster was a dictionary of English, not French.
    What is the third letter in the word "naïve" please?
    Are there any rules of usage of letter characters that are not among 26 English letters for writing in English? Please help me to find an appropriate link or other reference.

  4. #4
    SUDHKAMP's Avatar
    SUDHKAMP is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Quote Originally Posted by imakedon View Post
    Thanks.
    I thought M-Webster was a dictionary of English, not French.
    What is the third letter in the word "naïve" please?
    Are there any rules of usage of letter characters that are not among 26 English letters for writing in English? Please help me to find an appropriate link or other reference.
    The signs above the letters you are referring to are there to help you understand the DICTION or PRONOUNCIATION of that word. For this such signs are used. If you read the Pronounciation Gazeteer of any Dictionary, it shall give you such signs being used with vowels and half vowels.
    Some foreign sounds(foreign for English language sound) are represented by the same signs as in the continental languages(like Fjord and Bjorg etc.).

    Please read some standard unabridged dictionary for the same, like Websters' Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary or Cambridge Dictionary. It would help you a lot.

  5. #5
    engee30's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Quote Originally Posted by imakedon View Post
    What is the third letter in the word "naïve" please?
    That's an 'i' with the umlaut over it.

  6. #6
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Okay. Here is some more help.

    It's not really the English alphabet, it's the Roman. The French use it too, sometimes with accents and diacritic marks.

    After the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D., Old English changed to Middle English and we began a gradual absorption of vocabulary, losing 70% of our Anglo-Saxon words and taking in 26% of our words from French, and 26% from Latin through French. Nowadays half of our words are French-Latin in origin.

    Yes, château and naïve are French, but they are now English words as well.

    The ^ is a circumflex accent. It normally does not alter the pronunciation, though it frequently does. It usually signifies that there used to be an S after the vowel in question in Vulgar Latin or Old French. Château < castel (castle, an example of us borrowing both a French and Latin word pair).

    The two dots above the i in naïve are in fact NOT an umlaut, which is a German accent. They are a trema, a French diacritic which does not alter vowel quality, as the umlaut does in German, but rather, it signifies that the vowel is separately pronounced from the preceding one. "Ai" is normally pronounced [e], but with the trema, it is pronounced [a:i] instead.

    The accents and diacritics are optional in English words of French origin.

  7. #7
    SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Okay. Here is some more help.

    It's not really the English alphabet, it's the Roman. The French use it too, sometimes with accents and diacritic marks.

    After the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D., Old English changed to Middle English and we began a gradual absorption of vocabulary, losing 70% of our Anglo-Saxon words and taking in 26% of our words from French, and 26% from Latin through French. Nowadays half of our words are French-Latin in origin.

    Yes, château and naïve are French, but they are now English words as well.

    The ^ is a circumflex accent. It normally does not alter the pronunciation, though it frequently does. It usually signifies that there used to be an S after the vowel in question in Vulgar Latin or Old French. Château < castel (castle, an example of us borrowing both a French and Latin word pair).

    The two dots above the i in naïve are in fact NOT an umlaut, which is a German accent. They are a trema, a French diacritic which does not alter vowel quality, as the umlaut does in German, but rather, it signifies that the vowel is separately pronounced from the preceding one. "Ai" is normally pronounced [e], but with the trema, it is pronounced [a:i] instead.

    The accents and diacritics are optional in English words of French origin.
    Dear Konungursvia, please quote the source of above or please give the reference for the above post. Thanks for giving a knowledgeable information.

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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Ah, konungursvia - your response is such a breath of spring.

  9. #9
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Thanks guys!

    It came from my head, but here are some similar tidbits for reference.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umlaut_(diacritic) <--this covers the umlaut and the trema, in one place, though we mustn't confuse them.
    Accent circonflexe en français - Wikipédia

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    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in English alphabet?

    Just to add to the fun, there are also the (grave) accent sometimes added to the "e" in words like "naked", and the acute sometimes added to fiance(e).
    Last edited by orangutan; 12-May-2009 at 16:10. Reason: html entity references didn't work

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