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A E I O U and sometimes W
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lexapro
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Apr 21, 2010, 11:48 PM
 
I have heard that W can be used as a vowel. Is this true?
     
BlueSky
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Apr 21, 2010, 11:57 PM
 
Yws.
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 22, 2010, 12:05 AM
 
Yes, W is used as a vowel in Latin based languages. Off the top of my head, I think that Welsh uses W as a vowel.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Apr 22, 2010, 12:08 AM
 
Ask Owsín.

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Simon
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Apr 22, 2010, 02:45 AM
 
Sure. In Welsh, but even in English if you count diphthongs.

'how' sounds exactly the same as the beginning of 'house' and that's not because of the 'o'. In English 'how' could just as well be spelled 'hao'. There's a diphthong for you.

Also, consider 'wow'. Not a consonant to be heard. If you're interested in this you might also want to look up semivowels.
     
Oisín
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Apr 22, 2010, 03:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Yes, W is used as a vowel in Latin based languages. Off the top of my head, I think that Welsh uses W as a vowel.
Welsh is Celtic, not Latin-based.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey
Ask Owsín.
That’s Oisẃn to you, thank you!


To the OP: You can’t really use the grapheme/letter ‘w’ as a guideline for anything. Letters and orthography can be fairly arbitrary. For example, in the (originally Latin-based) Cherokee syllabary, Ꮃ stands for ‘la’, and Ꮤ stands for ‘ta’; in German, Dutch, and Polish a regular w stands for the sound v (Polish uses ł for the w sound, German and Dutch don’t have it at all); in Welsh, it can stand for either w or u; in Greek, ω stands for an o sound; etc.

So yes, there are probably more languages than Welsh that happen to use the letter w to represent a sound that’s a vowel in their system. Welsh just happens to be the first that comes to mind, since some of the ‘vowelless’ words have actually entered English, like a cwm or a crwth (an instrument).
     
tooki
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Apr 22, 2010, 10:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by lexapro View Post
I have heard that W can be used as a vowel. Is this true?
Sorta. Bearing in mind that spelling and pronunciation have only a passing relationship in some languages (and moreover, that that relationship applies only within one language), in English the "w" is often vowel-like. For example, the English word "water" could, kinda-sorta, be spelled "oo-ater". Say that fast, and you're really, really close to the correct pronunciation. In many cases, a "w" is basically the same as a diphthong that begins with the "ooh" sound ([u] in IPA).
     
Eriamjh
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Apr 22, 2010, 06:45 PM
 
Well... it is two "U"s.

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
   
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