accent reduction puzzle. When a vowel letter is said as a consonant

Have a look at this accent reduc­tion puz­zle. Words spelt with a vow­el but said as a con­so­nant.

In this accent reduc­tion puz­zle, as usu­al, there are excep­tions and unusu­al spellings and pro­nun­ci­a­tion in Eng­lish. Let's have a look at the accent reduc­tion puz­zle of words spelt with a vow­el that is pro­nounced as a con­so­nant. Because of this, some accent reduc­tion stu­dents some­times miss pro­nounce these words.

The first accent reduc­tion puz­zle  is the ‘u' in ‘qu'

The ‘u' in ‘qu' is spelt as a vow­el but said as the con­so­nant /w/.  Some exam­ples of this are queen, qui­et, quit, ques­tion, acquain­tance, acquire, acquit, ade­quate­ly, anti­quat­ed.

The sec­ond accent reduc­tion puz­zle is the ‘u' in some ‘gu' words

In the fol­low­ing words the ‘u' says /w/.  For exam­ple, pen­guin, anguish, dis­tin­guish, san­guine, extin­guish, lin­guist, inguinal, lan­guish, lin­gual.

The third accent reduc­tion puz­zle is when ‘i' says the con­so­nant ‘y'

We know that ‘y' can say ‘i' in some words such as gym, but in the fol­low­ing words it is switched around. The ‘i' vow­el says the ‘y' con­so­nant sound. For exam­ple, union, onion, bril­liant, com­pan­ion, medal­lion, resilient, bil­lion, mil­lion, pavil­ion, opinion,Brazilian, William, civil­ian, insuf­fi­cient.

The fourth accent reduc­tion puz­zle is when the ‘o' vow­el says the /w/ con­so­nant

Although there aren't many of these, it's worth know­ing them: one, some­one, one­sie, one­self

Also have a look at this inter­est­ing arti­cle here about what makes a vow­el a vow­el and con­so­nant a con­so­nant.

Best wish­es, Esther



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