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3.2: The Consonant Sound Eng

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

The Consonant Sound [\mathfrak{y}], 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 [\mathfrak{y}]. The sound [\mathfrak{y}] is called eng.

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

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

& \text{think} \underline{X} && \text{going} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{thanks} \underline{X} \\& \text{uncle} \underline{X} && \text{along} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{things} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;}

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

& \text{finger} \underline{X} && \text{hungry} \underline{X} && \text{song} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} \\& \text{being} \underline{\;\;\;\;\;\;\;} && \text{angle} \underline{X} && \text{language} \underline{X}

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

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

Word Squares. All but two of these words contain the sound [\mathfrak{y}], 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 [\mathfrak{y}] are dark and further

Teaching Notes. The two different spellings of [\mathfrak{y}] reflect a bit of language history: In Old English [\mathfrak{y}] 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: [\mathfrak{y}g], the way it is in, say, single or finger. Over the centuries, because of all the words containing [\mathfrak{y}] that were adopted from languages like French and Latin, [\mathfrak{y}] evolved into a separate sound. Its spelling still reflects that Old English pattern. For more on [\mathfrak{y}], see AES, pp. 435-38.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Jan 26, 2015
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