Saturday, September 05, 2015
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 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.
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