Every word in English has vowels though some argue that words like sky do not have a vowel. The letter Y is an issue of is it a vowel or is it not a vowel. The reason why there is a vowel in every word is because having too many consonant sounds in a row is very difficult for English speakers to say. An example of this would be strengths. This is one word that has five consonants in a row, but not every letter is pronounced which is why it isn’t too hard for English speakers to pronounce. For this very reason there are very few words in English that have more than one consonant in a row. Yet, languages like Polish have much longer strings of consonants but still have vowels.

There is another Issue to consider with saying that every word has a vowel. Some argue that hmm, shh, psst, ect., are words while some disagree. If those are considered words then there are words without vowels. But if they are words then this whole post and research is useless and there are words in English that do not have vowels. Those are not hard to say but sometimes if you say them when talking to people a little awkward or weird because it’s not something, at least for me, that is said often. I tend to bump people to get attention or say their name, when I shush people I tell them to be quiet, and when I think I pause I don't make many sounds I just look off at nothing.

Some other facts that I find interesting, about languages that are from my sources. The language with the largest Alphabet is Khmer, the shortest is Rotokas, which is also the language with the fewest sounds, and fewest consonant sounds with having only 6. The one with the most sounds is !Xóõ. English is the most widely published language. Final fact is that the language with the most consonant sounds is Ubyx with 81 consonants.

Is Y a vowel?
Are things like hmm, shh, and psst words?






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  • I think that the letter y is  vowel because in the song we sing for vowels it is sometime y. I think that hmm and shh are not words because they dont have vowels. I think that for a word to be a word then it does have to have a vowel in the word.

    • So not having vowels makes something now a word. That being said why is Y just sometimes a vowel? If it is just sometimes how many vowels does the word many have, one or two becuase does that apply to the sometimes?

  • I personally don't think it's a vowel unless it's the only other letter than a consonant in a word. Like as you mentioned, the word sky. Every word has to have at least one vowel in it, but in the instance with sky there is no "vowel" so y would have to be the vowel in this situation.

  • I think it depends on how you are using the y in a word. Like you said sky, I think that the Y is a vowel in that instance. But like something like bye maybe not because of the e. I think that every english word have to have a least one vowel. 

    • So then the word bye only has one vowel. If that is true then that would make Y a consonant. Which, at least in my mind, doesn't make sense. So, if every word has to have at leason one vowel, then that means that "psst" is not a word, so what is it clasified as?

  • I think it depends on what the word is like try, then "Y" would be a vowel. In words like dye or bye "Y" would not be included as a vowel. I think that hmm, shh, and psst are not words but actually noises. Concidering they don't have any vowels in them. 

  • I personally think the letter "y" is a vowel, just because it really isn't a consonant. But, I don't think "hmm", "shh", and "psst" are words, just because they don't really sound or look like words. So to me, y is a vowel, and to make something a word, you pretty much always need a vowel.

    • But why does it not sound like a word? Arguably words like "a" seems less like a word than "psst". I understand the arguement of just because it's not a consonant that means it's a vowel, but it's only "and sometimes Y" in the song we learned when we were young. So when is the sometimes that it's not?

  • I think the letter 'y' is a vowel if used correctly. Phrases like hmm, shh, and psst are not words because they are used more as expressions, not words. Those expressions don't really have a definition.

  • I feel like "Y" is more of a vowel then consonant, just because it's used in a lot more words as a vowel. i feel like the phrases are kind of words, but only in text/books because you can't really spell grunts, sounds, etc. You wouldnt just say the words, they are sounds. 

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