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11.5: Long < i > and the VCC Pattern

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Long \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} and the VCC Pattern

1. You have seen that one VCC pattern that regularly has a long vowel in front of it is the VCle pattern: bible, bridle, rifle. A similar but not so common case is the Vcr V pattern. Find the letter that is spelling \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*} in the words below, mark it \begin{align*}‘\mathrm{v}’\end{align*}, and then mark the next two letters after it either \begin{align*}‘\mathrm{v}’\end{align*} or \begin{align*}‘\mathrm{c}’\end{align*}:

\begin{align*}&\text{library} && \text{microscope} && \text{nitrogen} && \text{migrate} && \text{tigress} && \text{vibrate}\\ & \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc}\end{align*}

2. But long \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} occurs in several other VCC patterns, too. Some of the following words have long \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} ; some have short \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} .Mark the letter that is spelling \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*} or [i] in each and then mark the next two letters either ‘v’ or ‘c’:

\begin{align*}&\text{assigned} && \text{highway} && \text{thigh} && \text{resign} && \text{sights}\\ & \quad {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad {vcc} && \ {vcc}\\ \\ & \text{child} && \text{winter} && \text{brightly} && \text{delight} && \text{isle}\\ & \quad {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad {vcc} && {vcc}\\ \\ & \text{dignity} && \text{tighten} && \text{countersign} && \text{timber} && \text{knight}\\ & \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad \qquad \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad {vcc}\\ \\ &\text{building} && \text{island} && \text{resignation} && \text{blind} && \text{mankind}\\ & \quad {vcc} && {vcc} && \quad {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad \quad {vcc} \\ \\ & \text{climb} && \text{pint} && \text{wildly} && \text{kindness} && \text{taillight}\\ & \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad {vcc}\\ \\ &\text{behind} && \text{window} && \text{children} && \text{remind} && \text{grind}\\ & \quad {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \ {vcc} && \quad \ {vcc} && \quad {vcc}\end{align*}

3. Sort the thirty words into these two groups:

Words in which
long vowel short vowel
assigned pint blind taillight dignity
child thigh kindness grind building
climb brightly remind winter
behind countersign sights window
highway wildly isle resignation
tighten resign knight children
island delight mankind timber

4. Sort the words with long \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} into the following seven groups:

Words in which long
<gh> <nd> <gn>
highway delight behind remind assigned
tighten sights blind mankind countersign
thigh knight kindness grind resign
brightly taillight
Words in which long
<ld> <sl> <mb> <nt>
child island climb pint
wildly isle

5. Four of these combinations contain one or more silent consonant letters. List the four below:

\begin{align*}& <gh> && <gn> && <sl> && <mb>\end{align*}

6. These special cases of long \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} in VCC patterns are due to changes that occurred in our language hundreds of years ago. There is little we can do except to try to remember them. Fortunately, only a few words contain them, not many more than in the list above.

Teaching Notes.

Item 4. The long vowels before <gh>, <nd>, <mb> (and <ld>, as in child and wild), is due to the fact that Old English short vowels tended to lengthen before those particular consonant clusters. Part of the story of vowels before <gh> is told in the teaching notes to Book 5, Lesson 8. Part of the story of vowels before <gn> is told in the teaching notes to Book 5, Lesson 43. Part of the story of <sl> is told in Book 5, Lesson 38. Two of the words with \begin{align*}[\bar{\mathrm{i}}]\end{align*} before <sl> (aisle, isle) came from French and are part of a larger tendency for \begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*} spelling [z] in French words to drop out, usually with lengthening of the preceding vowel. Sometimes just the [z] drops out while the spelling remains unchanged, as with our words in this lesson. Sometimes both the [z] and the \begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*} are dropped, as in, say, blame from French blasme or dime from disme. The third word, island, is Old English but its spelling converged over the years to that of the French isle. For more of <sl> see AES, pp. 439-40.

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