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Okay! So many of my linguistics questions arise with conversations with my husband. Today’s word/s are vowels and consonants. Specifically, how to teach our five- year old granddaughter to read. He wanted to know how to go about teaching her what vowels and consonants were. However, all we know of it is the standard: a-e-i-o-u and sometimes-y. All else in the alphabet are consonants. But as so often in conversations with my spouse we begin to query the words themselves and their meaning. So, with that, here are our dictionary findings. Enjoy!

vowel

noun vow·elˈvau̇(-ə)l

 

1
:
one of a class of speech sounds in the articulation of which the oral part of the breath channel is not blocked and is not constricted enough to cause audible friction; broadly : the one most prominent sound in a syllable

2
:
a letter or other symbol representing a vowel — usually used in English of a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y

Origin

Middle English, from Anglo-French vowele, from Latin vocalis — more at vocalic.

First known use: 14th century