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  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #41

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I'll take NewYorkian.
    I'll take Manhattian.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #42

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by TaiwanPofLee View Post
    A, E, I, O, U: vowel letters;
    W: consonant letter, sometimes a semivowel letter;
    Y : consonant letter, sometimes a semivowel letter, sometimes a vowel letter.
    As we say in New Yorkian: Oy!

    I see what you mean. W does behave something like a vowel. Any word with a W could be spelled with vowels instead. West could be spelled oest.

    But the important thing is how the letter is used in the architecture of the word. Just as all houses require entrances, all syllables require vowels. Since a W cannot play that role, it's not a vowel.

    There are no semi-vowels. Again, a Y is always either a vowel (style) or a consonant (yes). It is never partly one and partly the other. (Personally, I think it's easier to just call Y a full-time vowel, but I don't get a vote.)

    So when you think of what makes a letter a vowel, don't think about pronunciation. Think about whether it's part of the structure of the syllable.

    It's an arbitrary rule, but it works.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #43

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    As we say in New Yorkian: Oy!

    I see what you mean. W does behave something like a vowel. Any word with a W could be spelled with vowels instead. West could be spelled oest.

    But the important thing is how the letter is used in the architecture of the word. Just as all houses require entrances, all syllables require vowels. Since a W cannot play that role, it's not a vowel.

    There are no semi-vowels. Again, a Y is always either a vowel (style) or a consonant (yes). It is never partly one and partly the other. (Personally, I think it's easier to just call Y a full-time vowel, but I don't get a vote.)

    So when you think of what makes a letter a vowel, don't think about pronunciation. Think about whether it's part of the structure of the syllable.

    It's an arbitrary rule, but it works.
    Nice to have your response, Charlie.

    You said the word serve is pronounced as /srv/. Then, which letter of 'serve' is a vowel?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #44

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    The difference between W and Y is Y can a have a vowel sound all by itself; W does not.

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    #45

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The difference between W and Y is Y can a have a vowel sound all by itself; W does not.
    Yes, indeed!

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #46

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by TaiwanPofLee View Post
    Nice to have your response, Charlie.

    You said the word serve is pronounced as /srv/. Then, which letter of 'serve' is a vowel?
    Not S, R, or V!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #47

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The difference between W and Y is Y can a have a vowel sound all by itself; W does not.
    Interesting. Thanks!

    I think of the pure, unattached W sound as oooo (tongue back and lips making a Lifesaver) and the pure, unattached Y sound as eeee (tongue up and lips smiling).

    West: Oooo-est.
    Yarn: Eeee-arn.

    But you might hear them differently, which is what makes all this the wide, wild world of English!

    I'll bow out now. Five pages on O and I is enough for me!
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 28-Apr-2015 at 20:26.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #48

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    In your first example, W has no vowel sound. In your second example Y is a consonant. Y is a vowel in 'sky" and "cry".

  9. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #49

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In your first example, W has no vowel sound. In your second example Y is a consonant. Y is a vowel in 'sky" and "cry".
    And bicycle and lady, which we could never spell bicwcle and ladw.

    Good points. Got that, Taiwan?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #50

    Re: pronunciations of O and I

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    And bicycle and lady, which we could never spell bicwcle and ladw.

    Good points. Got that, Taiwan?
    I quote the following from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semivowel

    "In phonetics and phonology, a semivowel or glide is a sound that is phonetically similar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllableboundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable.[1] In English, the consonants y and w in yes and west are semivowels, written /j w/ in IPA. They correspond to the vowels / /, written ee and oo in seen andmoon."

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