Is it a digraph or a blend?

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Macnerd
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Is it a digraph or a blend?

Postby Macnerd » 2018-04-11, 12:38

I posted this question on another language forum but they ignored my post.

The letter "y" is a consonant. But it is also a semivowel.

Are double consonant clusters like "by", "my", etc. blends or digraphs? Blends are 2 consonants where both consonants are heard & digraphs are 2 consonants that form 1 sound. I can hear both the "b" & the "y". So, based on the definitions, are "by" & "my" blends?

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md0
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Re: Is it a digraph or a blend?

Postby md0 » 2018-04-11, 12:49

y is definitely not a consonant in by and my. It's a vowel (/aɪ̯/).
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linguoboy
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Re: Is it a digraph or a blend?

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-11, 17:43

Macnerd wrote:The letter "y" is a consonant. But it is also a semivowel.

I'm not sure you understand the definition of a "semivowel". They are considered a type of approximant consonant. That is, the "semivowel" pronunciation of y and its "consonantal" pronunciation are really the same thing.

Macnerd wrote:Are double consonant clusters like "by", "my", etc. blends or digraphs? Blends are 2 consonants where both consonants are heard & digraphs are 2 consonants that form 1 sound. I can hear both the "b" & the "y". So, based on the definitions, are "by" & "my" blends?

Neither. As md0 says, these are just consonant-vowel sequences.

The sequence /bj/ exists in English, but it isn't written "by". Examples include beauty, butte, and abuse. Examples of /my/ are amuse, mute, and (for some speakers) miaow.

There are a few borrowed words where these sequences are written with y. Myanmar is one, but many speakers pronounce this /ˈmaɪ̯ænˌmar/, i.e. with a vocalic rather than semivocalic y. It is also found in transcriptions of foreign personal names, e.g. "Myung Kwang-sik" or "Myŏng Kwang-shik" for the Korean name written 명광식.
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Re: Is it a digraph or a blend?

Postby IpseDixit » 2018-04-11, 18:12

linguoboy wrote: Examples of /mj/ are amuse, mute, and (for some speakers) miaow.


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