Possible Duplicates: when is “Y” a vowel? Is the 'w' in 'cow' a collection or a consonant?

Are W and also Y vowels? i learned it depends on the conditions. Yet I don"t understand what conditions.

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A "vowel" in an alphabet is a letter representing a sound with with a continual voiced tone making use of an open throat, mouth and also lips, usually identified by the position of the tongue and also lips, as contrasted to a "consonant" which is any kind of other phoneme, usually characterized by lip and teeth location (labiodental, bilabial, alveolar, glottal), instant or continual (plosive, fricative) and whether voiced or unvoiced. Vowels are constantly voiced, and have no assault of your own.

So, through this definition, yes, "y" and "w" deserve to represent collection sounds in words. Usually, as soon as they do represent vowels, castle are offered in conjunction through one or more other vowels to produce a polypthong: "w" to represent "oo" and also "y" represents "ee". For example, the word "way" is express "oo-a-ee". "sweet" and also "how" are other w examples, if "hay", "say" and "yes" are an excellent examples the Y"s typical behavior. This renders the letter Y and W best described together "vowel modifiers". They are seldom seen representing your voiced sound without another vowel adjacent, so they room not taken into consideration full vowels.

Further complicating things, w has actually both voiced and unvoiced qualities, a result of the advancement of the Latin alphabet to replace runic alphabets in germanic languages. It additionally picked up other tricks; W in combination with H is generally unvoiced (though part dialects voice "wh" as if it to be "w"), representing an unvoiced rounded lip alveolar fricative; basically forming "oo" and saying "h". Also, relying on the native origin, "w" might use its Romantic together of the semi-voiced labiovelar approximant (a "soft v").

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"Y" has no such multiple personalities; the is always a collection or collection modifier trending a monopthong or dipthong vowel sound towards "ee". However, that is rarely seen ~ above its own; the key exceptions room as the critical sound that a native such as "Christianity", "slowly", or "happy". In most other cases, if "ee" is desired, it is used, or alternately the German-derived "ie". Therefore again, because it rarely stands ~ above its own, it"s not taken into consideration a "full" vowel.