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How to Pronounce Diacritical Markings (For New Spellers)

VOWELS  AND VOWEL BLENDS(DIPHTHONGS)

 

Schwa indicated by \ə\ is pronounced  like the ‘u’ in umbrella.

 

The dotted schwa \ə̇\ is pronounced \ə\ like the ‘u’ in umbrella or \i\ like the-i- in igloo.

 

\ər\  is pronounced like the –er in water.

 

\əl\ is pronounced like the –le in kettle.

 

\ən\ is pronounced like the –en in wooden.

 

\əw\ is usually followed by a vowel symbol and indicates that the vowels are not pronounced as individual sounds, but rather as a sort of blend. For example in the word strenuous the –uou- is represented by the sound \yəwə\.

 

\a\ represents the short sound of ‘a’ as in apple

 

\ā\ represent the long sound of  ‘a’ as in plane.

 

 

\āⁿ\ gives the  \ā\ sound a slightly nasal quality.

 

\ä\ sounds like the  ‘a’ in father.

 

\au̇\ sounds like the ‘ow’ in cow.

 

\au̇ⁿ\ gives a slight nasal quality to the sound of ‘ow’.

 

\e\ represents the short sound of ‘e’ as in egg

 

\ē\ indicates the long sound of ‘e’ as made by the –ee- in bee.

 

\i\ represents the short sound of ‘i’ as in igloo.

 

\ī\ represents the long sound of ‘i’ as in hike.

 

\ō\ represents the long sound of ‘o’ as in home.

 

\ȯ\ sounds like the ‘aw’ in saw.

 

\œ\ can be approximated by making the sound \e\ through moderately rounded lips.

 

\œ̅\ can be approximated by making the sound \ā\ through strongly rounded lips.

 

\ȯi\ sounds like the ‘oy’ in boy.

 

\ \ represents the sound of ‘oo’ in wood.

 

\ü\ represents the sound of ‘oo’ in moon.

 

\ue\ can be approximated by making the sound \i\ through moderately rounded lips.

 

\u̅e̅\  can be approximated by making the sound \ē\ through strongly rounded lips.

 

\yü\ represents the long sound of –u- in cube.

 

\(y)ü\  means that the  letter  -y- may be pronounced  or not. So this could be pronounced like the word “you” or just as \ü\.

 

Note that parentheses (   ) around a letter  indicates that

the letter may or may not be  pronounced.

 

 

 

 

CONSONANTS

 

The consonants make their usual sounds unless in a blend or mentioned otherwise.

 

\ ⁿ\ gives a nasal sound to the preceding vowel.

\ ŋ\ represent the sound made by –ng in wing.

\y\ is a diacritical marking usually used in transcriptions of foreign words only, and means that while pronouncing the previous character the tip of the tongue is positioned as if saying the first sound in yard.

 

CONSONANT BLENDS

 

\ch\ represents the sound made by the letters –ch- in “chin”.

 

\gw\ represents the sound made by the letters –gw- in “Gwen”.

 

 

\ sh \ represents the sound made by the letters –sh- in “show”.

 

\th\ is pronounced like the letters –th- in “thin”.

 

\th\ is pronounced like the letters  –th- in “the”.

 

\zh\ is pronounced like the letters –si- in vision.

 

 

Stress symbols are indicated by , and ‘.