Unstressed in that suffix and otherwise only in ambush, fulcrum second syllable , fulfil, gerenuk, tuk-tuk second syllable. For this treatment of triphthongs, see also Cruttenden Especially prevalent in initial position, where the only exceptions appear to be words formed from the Latin prefix ob- and its derivatives, e.
None occur in initial position see above under Basic grapheme, and Notes. Otherwise in an unpredictable ragbag of words, e. Deptford and many other placenames with this element , Holborn, scissors, stubborn. Otherwise in, e. Otherwise only in an unpredictable ragbag of nouns, e. Initial position. Greek anaemia, anathema, aroma. Medial position. Some patterning can be seen in initial and final word elements, but very little otherwise in medial position. Final position. Examples include: amber, arbiter, auger, bitter, brother, cancer, character, chipper, chorister, clover, double-decker, eager, ember, knocker, ladder, laager, lager, lever, Londoner, lumber, mother, neuter, number, other, oyster, proper, slander, slender, sober, thunder, timber, tuber, water, yonder ; all comparative adjectives, e.
There seem to be very few words in this set. More frequent in RP than in other accents. Regular before consonant clusters, but also occurs elsewhere. Exceptions: were, whirl, whir r. See also Table 5. See section A. See notes above Table. Never word-final except in the Greek phrase hoi polloi.
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Regular in word-final position; rare elsewhere, but see Notes. Effectively, therefore, all the example words mentioned so far in this paragraph rhyme. Also see Notes. For more on that, see sections 3.
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Medially before a consonant, only in scarce, scarcity. See Section A. In this book I have almost exclusively used his function-words-excluded frequencies, but at the head of this entry and against a couple of the Oddities I have shown, for interest, both those and in brackets the very different frequencies when function words are included. Carney does say ibid. In all cases see Notes. For dualfunctioning see section 7. All the correspondences for this phoneme are Oddities.
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Check your own pronunciation of the words listed in this section. It is noticeable that all these words end in a consonant phoneme. Words in these very small groups are:. Exceptions in addition to derived forms, e. If so, this is the only such category. Regular in nonfinal syllables of stem words. In closed monosyllables, apparently only in retch. In non-final syllables only in chieftain, diesel.
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For exceptions see Table 5. Exceptions include:. In non-final syllables, only in blighty, righteous, sprightly. Word-finally, only in high, nigh, sigh, thigh. Possible extension: If the context were defined in terms of letters, aisle, climb, isle, lisle could be added. Exception under either definition: heist. Exceptions: height, sleight; bite, cite, kite, mite, rite, site, smite, spite, sprite, quite, white, write; byte.
Exceptions which number 24 : aye, eye, I; die, fie, hie, lie, pie, tie, vie; bye, dye, lye, rye, stye; high, nigh, sigh, thigh ; and the Greek letter names chi, phi, pi, psi, xi. See also sections 4. The only monosyllabic stem word exception in British spelling is mould , and even that is spelt mold in the USA. The pattern generalises to the polysyllables listed above, plus solder. The regular default spellings are shown in 9 point, exceptions in 7. All the graphemes in this section are 2-phoneme graphemes.
Exceptions: ewe; cue, hue, queue. Regular in closed monosyllables, e. For exceptions see Oddities, plus vamoose. Early Modern English began in the late 15th century with the introduction of the printing press to London, the printing of the King James Bible and the start of the Great Vowel Shift.
Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire and the United States, Modern English has been spreading around the world since the 17th century. Through all types of printed and electronic media, and spurred by the emergence of the United States as a global superpower, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and professional contexts such as science, navigation and law.
English is the largest language by number of speakers, and the third most-spoken native language in the world, after Standard Chinese and Spanish. It is the most widely learned second language and is either the official language or one of the official languages in almost 60 sovereign states. There are more people who have learned it as a second language than there are native speakers.
It is estimated that there are over 2 billion speakers of English. It is a co-official language of the United Nations, the European Union and many other world and regional international organisations. English has a vast vocabulary, though counting how many words any language has is impossible. English speakers are called "Anglophones". Modern English grammar is the result of a gradual change from a typical Indo-European dependent marking pattern, with a rich inflectional morphology and relatively free word order, to a mostly analytic pattern with little inflection, a fairly fixed SVO word order and a complex syntax.
Modern English relies more on auxiliary verbs and word order for the expression of complex tenses, aspect and mood, as well as passive constructions, interrogatives and some negation. The variation among the accents and dialects of English used in different countries and regions—in terms of phonetics and phonology, and sometimes also vocabulary, grammar, and spelling—can often be understood by speakers of different dialects, but in extreme cases can lead to confusion or even mutual unintelligibility between English speakers.
English orthography is the system of writing conventions used to represent spoken English in written form that allows readers to connect spelling to sound to meaning. Like the orthography of most world languages, English orthography has a broad degree of standardisation. However, unlike with most languages, there are multiple ways to spell nearly every phoneme sound , and most letters also have multiple pronunciations depending on their position in a word and the context. Several orthographic mistakes are common even among native speakers. This is mainly due to the large number of words that have been borrowed from a large number of other languages throughout the history of the English language, without successful attempts at complete spelling reforms.
Most of the spelling conventions in Modern English were derived from the phonetic spelling of a variety of Middle English, and generally do not reflect the sound changes that have occurred since the late 15th century such as the Great Vowel Shift. Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography, the two most recognised variations being British and American spelling, and its overall uniformity helps facilitate international communication.
On the other hand, it also adds to the discrepancy between the way English is written and spoken in any given location. French conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a French verb from its principal parts by inflection. French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations conjugaisons with the following grouping:. The first two groups follow a regular conjugation, whereas the third group follows an irregular one.
Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French. French is an official language in 29 countries across multiple continents, most of which are members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie OIF , the community of 84 countries which share the official use or teaching of French.
French is the fourth most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union, Of Europeans who speak other languages natively, approximately one-fifth are able to speak French as a second language.
The Howling Vowels
French is the second most taught foreign language in the EU. French is also the 18th most natively spoken language in the world, 6th most spoken language by total number of speakers and the second or third most studied language worldwide with about million current learners. As a result of French and Belgian colonialism from the 16th century onward, French was introduced to new territories in the Americas, Africa and Asia. French is estimated to have about 76 million native speakers and about million daily, fluent speakers and another 77 to million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language to varying degrees of proficiency, mainly in Africa.
According to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie OIF , approximately million people worldwide are "able to speak the language", without specifying the criteria for this estimation or whom it encompasses. French has a long history as an international language of literature and scientific standards and is a primary or second language of many international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In , Bloomberg Businessweek ranked French the third most useful language for business, after English and Standard Mandarin Chinese. Masculine ending and feminine ending are terms used in prosody, the study of verse form. This definition is applicable in most cases; see below, however, for a more refined characterization. Middle English abbreviated to ME was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest until the late 15th century.
English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from to This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages. Middle English saw significant changes to its vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and orthography. Writing conventions during the Middle English period varied widely. Examples of writing from this period that have survived show extensive regional variation.
The more standardized Old English language became fragmented, localized, and was, for the most part, being improvised. By the end of the period about and aided by the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in , a standard based on the London dialect Chancery Standard had become established. This largely formed the basis for Modern English spelling, although pronunciation has changed considerably since that time.
Middle English was succeeded in England by the era of Early Modern English, which lasted until about Scots developed concurrently from a variant of the Northumbrian dialect prevalent in northern England and spoken in southeast Scotland. During the Middle English period, many Old English grammatical features either became simplified or disappeared altogether. Noun, adjective and verb inflections were simplified by the reduction and eventual elimination of most grammatical case distinctions. Middle English also saw considerable adoption of Norman French vocabulary, especially in the areas of politics, law, the arts and religion.
Conventional English vocabulary retained its mostly Germanic etiology, with Old Norse influences becoming more apparent. Significant changes in pronunciation took place, particularly involving long vowels and diphthongs, which in the later Middle English period began to undergo the Great Vowel Shift.
Little survives of early Middle English literature, due in part to Norman domination and the prestige that came with writing in French rather than English. During the 14th century, a new style of literature emerged with the works of writers including John Wycliffe and Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Canterbury Tales remains one of the most studied and read works of the period. A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds usually, exactly the same sound in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words.
Most often, this kind of "perfect" rhyming is consciously used for effect in the final positions of lines of poems and songs. More broadly, a rhyme may also variously refer to other types of similar sounds near the ends of two or more words. Furthermore, the word rhyme has come to be sometimes used as a shorthand term for any brief poem, such as a rhyming couplet or nursery rhyme. The population was 1, at the census.
In contrast to the Shoshone Native American tribe for which it is named, the city's name is correctly pronounced "Show-shown", with a silent "e". In an alphabetic writing system, a silent letter is a letter that, in a particular word, does not correspond to any sound in the word's pronunciation. Null is an unpronounced or unwritten segment. A vowel is a syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract.
Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, the other being the consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and also in quantity length. They are usually voiced, and are closely involved in prosodic variation such as tone, intonation and stress.
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