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3.2: The Consonant Sound Eng

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The Consonant Sound \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}, Eng

1. You can hear the sound [m] at the end of rum. You can hear the sound [n] at the end of run. At the end of rung you can hear the sound \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}. The sound \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is called eng.

2. Most of the time \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled <ng>, as in rung. But sometimes \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled <n>.

3 Say the word think. There is a [k] sound right after the \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}: [thi\begin{align*}\mathfrak{y}\end{align*}k]. Put an \begin{align*}X\end{align*} beside each word that has a [k] right after the \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}. Counting think, there are three:

\begin{align*}& \text{think} \underline{X} && \text{going} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{thanks} \underline{X} \\ & \text{uncle} \underline{X} && \text{along} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{things} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}\end{align*}

4. Say the word tangle. There is a [g] sound right after the \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}. Put an \begin{align*}X\end{align*} beside each word that has a [g] right after the \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}. There are four:

\begin{align*}& \text{finger} \underline{X} && \text{hungry} \underline{X} && \text{song} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} \\ & \text{being} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{angle} \underline{X} && \text{language} \underline{X}\end{align*}

5. In think the <k> spells [k], and \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled <n>. And in tangle the <g> spells [g], and \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled \begin{align*}\mathfrak{y}\end{align*}. But in most words \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled <ng>.

6. When there is a [k] or a [g] sound right after the sound \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}],[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} is spelled <n> but everywhere else it is spelled <ng>

Word Squares. All but two of these words contain the sound \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}, spelled either <ng> or <n>:

Four-letter word: dark

Five-letter words: thank, going, uncle, being

Six-letter words: finger, single, uncles, thinker

Seven-letter words: sunning, monkeys, further, dogging, landing

Eight-letter words: language, hungriest

The two words that do not contain \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} are dark and further

Teaching Notes. The two different spellings of \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} reflect a bit of language history: In Old English \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} was not a separate sound; it was a variation of [n], the sound that [n] assumed before [k] or [g]. In Old English the spelling <ng> was always pronounced as two sounds: \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}g]\end{align*}, the way it is in, say, single or finger. Over the centuries, because of all the words containing \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} that were adopted from languages like French and Latin, \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*} evolved into a separate sound. Its spelling still reflects that Old English pattern. For more on \begin{align*}[\mathfrak{y}]\end{align*}, see AES, pp. 435-38.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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