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
, and abuse
. Examples of /my/ are amuse
, and (for some speakers) miaow
There are a few borrowed words where these sequences are written with y
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.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons