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# 15.14: VCV Summarized

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## VCV Summarized

1. The rule that says that the head vowel in a VCV string will normally be long is very useful. But you have seen that it is complicated by three smaller rules that can overrule it:

The Suffix -ity Rule. The vowel right in front of the suffix ity will always be, (stressed and) short, whatever kind of string it is in.

The Third Vowel Rule. The third vowel sound from the end of a word will often be short if it is stressed, even if it is the first vowel in a VCV string.

The French Lemon Rule: Words that have two vowel sounds and were borrowed from French will have a short first vowel, even in a VCV string.

2. Mark the VCV strings in the following words, starting with the vowel in bold type in each one:

\begin{align*}& \text{advisor} && \text{agent} && \text{legend} && \text{nature} && \text{simplicity} \\ & \quad vcv && vcv && \ \ vcv && \ \ vcv \qquad && \qquad \ vcv \\ & \text{closet} && \text{navel} && \text{molar} && \text{quality} && \text{solitude} \\ & \quad vcv && vcv && \ \ vcv && \ \quad vcv && \ vcv \\ & \text{exclusive} && \text{competitor} && \text{legal} && \text{recent} && \text{solo} \\ & \qquad vcv && \ \qquad vcv && \ vcv && \ vcv && \ vcv \\ & \text{extremely} && \text{courageous} && \text{local} && \text{ritual} && \text{moment} \\ & \ \ \quad vcv && \qquad vcv && \ \ vcv && vcv && \ \ vcv \\ & \text{publicity} && \text{electricity} && \text{ration} && \text{serene} && \text{stomach} \\ & \qquad vcv && \qquad vcv && \ \ vcv && \quad vcv && \ \ vcv \\ & \text{focus} && \text{criminal} && \text{ratio} && \text{schedule} &&\text{yodel} \\ & \ vcv && \ \ vcv && \ vcv && \ \quad vcv && \ \ vcv\end{align*}

3. Sort the words into these two groups:

Words in which the first vowel in the VCV string is ...
long short
exclusive ration publicity ritual
extremely ratio competitor schedule
focus recent electricity simplicity
agent nature criminal solitude
navel serene legend stomach
courageous solo
molar moment
legal yodel

4. Now sort the twelve words with short vowels into the following three groups:

Words in which the short vowel is due to the ...
Suffix -ity Rule Third Vowel Rule French Lemon Rule
publicity competitor closet
electricity criminal legend
quality ritual schedule
simplicity solitude stomach

5. The following sentence summarizes the three rules that can lead to short vowels in VCV strings: In a VCV string the first vowel will usually be long, but the third syllable from the end of a word will often be short if it is stressed, even if it is the first vowel in a VCV string; and the vowel right in front of the suffix -ity will be (stressed and) short even if it is the first vowel in a VCV string; and many words that were borrowed from French will have short vowels in a VCV string.

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