Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 3 years ago

Is "y" a vowel?

Hi, today I had an argument with some of my classmates whether or not "y" is a vowel. In french class we refer "y" as a "E - Greek". That was also the place where the argument began.

Reason why I think that "y" is a vowel :

Happ(y)

pronunciation: Hap - (eeeee)

regards Dehlen.

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  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Y can be either a semivowel or a vowel.

    yes, yacht, yellow -- y is a semivowel. A semivowel is a sound that is produced in a way similar to a vowel, but it functions as the boundary of a syllable (like a consonant), instead of as the root of the syllable. In English and French, it is only a semivowel at the beginning of a word or syllable..

    try, really, system - y is a vowel (three different ones).

    The problem is that many people view letters (the written symbols) as the same as the sound(s) they produce. Y can produced a wide variety of sounds in English (but usually only two in French). Note: in French, y is usually a vowel, producing the same sound as French "i". It functions as a consonant at the beginning of a word, in only a very small number of foreign words.)

    Y, indeed, started out as an "i" used for Greek words. J, was also a variant of "i". They all three originally represented the same sounds. Later, they started to be used for different purposes. Different languages made further changes (the alphabet was designed for the Latin language, and evolved within Latin before further evolving when it was adopted by many other languages).

    You are right, when referring to the sounds it makes in words like berry, crystal, sly.

    In words like yellow, it is a semivowel (which functions like a consonant but has characteristics of a vowel). W - is another semi-vowel in English (only in French in some foreign words. Sometimes it's a V in French, a consonant).

    Note the links below to semivowel and to the letter Y (where it specifies it can function as either a consonant or a vowel). The consonant it produces is specifically a special kind called a semivowel.

    Source(s): studied linguistics, phonology, the history of the alphabet, taught French to English speakers; Michigan native USA; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semivowel
    • DeYahoo3 years agoReport

      Thanks for your answer.
      You referred yellow in you answer.

      But isn't the "y" in yellow also a vowel :

      (y)ellow
      (eeeeeeee)'llow

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Letters are neither vowels nor consonants. SOUNDS are vowels or consonants. Sometimes "y" is used to represent a vowel sound; sometimes it's used to represent a consonant sound.

    In "happy" it's a vowel sound. In "yellow" it's a consonant sound.

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  • Ashley
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Letters are not vowels, the sounds they make are.

    Y denotes 2 different phonemes but defaults to the consonant.

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  • 3 years ago

    Yes.

    • Pontus
      Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      only sometimes

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  • 3 years ago

    Yes it is, A,E,I,O,U, and sometimes Y

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