Saturday, September 05, 2015

Linked Vowels

Krale from Boyne City asked what to call the conjoined æ. It is called a ligature, linked vowels, or a digraph.

There is no single universal pronunciation. Brits spell the word encyclopaedia; Americans consider that to be archaic and spell it encyclopedia, with the ae pronounced as ee. A long ee sound also appears in paediatric/pediatric and in anaemia/anemia.

But in paedophile/pedophile, the ae sounds like eh. The same eh sound appears in aesthetic/esthetic.

The œ combination is also a ligature. It has a short sound (eh) in oesophagus/esophagus. But in oecology/ecology and in foetus/fetus, it has the long ee sound.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints