The #English word #latchstring #consonants #interestingfacts 😊

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The word consonant comes from Latin oblique stem cōnsonant-, from cōnsonāns (littera) “sounding-together (letter)”, a calque of Greek σύμφωνον sýmphōnon (plural sýmphōna). Consonants may be voiced or unvoiced. The th in the is voiced, but in breath is not. There are 21 consonant letters in English, for 24 consonant sounds in most English accents. Because of the history of the English language, there is no neat one-to-one relationship between letter and sound.

Since the number of possible sounds in all of the world’s languages is much greater than the number of letters in any one alphabet, linguists have devised systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to assign a unique and unambiguous symbol to each attested consonant. In fact, the English alphabet has fewer consonant letters than English has consonant sounds, so digraphs like “ch”, “sh”, “th”, and “zh” are used to extend the alphabet, and some letters and digraphs represent more than one consonant. For example, the sound spelled “th” in “this” is a different consonant than the “th” sound in “thin”.