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By Stuart C. Poole (auth.)

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Thus the sounds [1], [r], [w] and [j], as in the words leer, rear, weir and year, are less distinct from vowels in that the flow of air is less disrupted; these sounds are called continuants or approximants. As the diagram shows, the sounds [1] and [r] can be distinguished as liquids and [w] and [j] as semi-vowels. The somewhat vocalic nature of the liquids allows them to stand in a syllable without a vowel. The word funnel has two syllables but only one vowel; it is pronounced / fxnl,' . There may be no contact with the alveolar ridge in which case a vowel sound results; a Brazilian will refer to his country as /braziu/, the Dutch equivalents of old and gold are oud and gaud.

From Old English, for example, we have the word hide and from Old French we have the word conceal. We can say He was determined to hide the truth and He was determined to conceal the truth. Thus, as we can use either in this sentence, we might call the words hide and conceal synonym s. But if we try to replace hide by conceal in the sentence He was determined to hide we find th at we do not get a satisfactory sentence, the reason being that , unlike hide, conceal cannot serve as an intransitive verb, cannot, that is, be used without an accompanying object.

48 An Introduction to Linguistics Clearly the variation is all the greater if one compares a number of languages. Before a front vowel the character represents Ikl in the Celtic languages; that is why we usually pronounce the word Celtic as /keltik/, one exception being when we are referring to the Glasgow football club . In Spanish before a front vowel represents lei or lsi depending on the dialect, and in Italian it represents I JI or /tf/. The character represents a different sound in each of English, German, French and Spanish, these sounds being Icsl.

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