New Page 1

LA GRAMMATICA DI ENGLISH GRATIS IN VERSIONE MOBILE Ľ   INFORMATIVA PRIVACY

  NUOVA SEZIONE ELINGUE

 

Selettore risorse   

   

 

                                         IL Metodo  |  Grammatica  |  RISPOSTE GRAMMATICALI  |  Multiblog  |  INSEGNARE AGLI ADULTI  |  INSEGNARE AI BAMBINI  |  AudioBooks  |  RISORSE SFiziosE  |  Articoli  |  Tips  | testi pAralleli  |  VIDEO SOTTOTITOLATI
                                                                                         ESERCIZI :   Serie 1 - 2 - 3  - 4 - 5  SERVIZI:   Pronunciatore di inglese - Dizionario - Convertitore IPA/UK - IPA/US - Convertitore di valute in lire ed euro                                              

 

 

WIKIBOOKS
DISPONIBILI
?????????

ART
- Great Painters
BUSINESS&LAW
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
CARS
- Concept Cars
GAMES&SPORT
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

EDUCATION
- Education
LITERATURE
- Masterpieces of English Literature
LINGUISTICS
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

MEDICINE
- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
MUSIC&DANCE
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
SCIENCE
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
LIFESTYLE
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
TRADITIONS
- Christmas Traditions
NATURE
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables



ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. Adverbial
  2. Agentive ending
  3. Ain't
  4. American and British English differences
  5. American and British English pronunciation differences
  6. American and British English spelling differences
  7. American English
  8. Amn't
  9. Anglophone
  10. Anglosphere
  11. Apostrophe
  12. Australian English
  13. Benjamin Franklin's phonetic alphabet
  14. Bracket
  15. British and American keyboards
  16. British English
  17. Canadian English
  18. Certificate of Proficiency in English
  19. Classical compound
  20. Cockney
  21. Colon
  22. Comma
  23. Comma splice
  24. Cut Spelling
  25. Dangling modifier
  26. Dash
  27. Definite article reduction
  28. Disputed English grammar
  29. Don't-leveling
  30. Double copula
  31. Double negative
  32. Ellipsis
  33. English alphabet
  34. English compound
  35. English declension
  36. English English
  37. English grammar
  38. English honorifics
  39. English irregular verbs
  40. English language learning and teaching
  41. English modal auxiliary verb
  42. English orthography
  43. English passive voice
  44. English personal pronouns
  45. English phonology
  46. English plural
  47. English relative clauses
  48. English spelling reform
  49. English verbs
  50. English words with uncommon properties
  51. Estuary English
  52. Exclamation mark
  53. Foreign language influences in English
  54. Full stop
  55. Generic you
  56. Germanic strong verb
  57. Gerund
  58. Going-to future
  59. Grammatical tense
  60. Great Vowel Shift
  61. Guillemets
  62. Habitual be
  63. History of linguistic prescription in English
  64. History of the English language
  65. Hyphen
  66. I before e except after c
  67. IELTS
  68. Initial-stress-derived noun
  69. International Phonetic Alphabet for English
  70. Interpunct
  71. IPA chart for English
  72. It's me
  73. Languages of the United Kingdom
  74. Like
  75. List of animal adjectives
  76. List of British idioms
  77. List of British words not widely used in the United States
  78. List of case-sensitive English words
  79. List of commonly confused homonyms
  80. List of common misspellings in English
  81. List of common words that have two opposite senses
  82. List of dialects of the English language
  83. List of English apocopations
  84. List of English auxiliary verbs
  85. List of English homographs
  86. List of English irregular verbs
  87. List of English prepositions
  88. List of English suffixes
  89. List of English words invented by Shakespeare
  90. List of English words of Celtic origin
  91. List of English words of Italian origin
  92. List of English words with disputed usage
  93. List of frequently misused English words
  94. List of Fumblerules
  95. List of homophones
  96. List of -meters
  97. List of names in English with non-intuitive pronunciations
  98. List of words having different meanings in British and American English
  99. List of words of disputed pronunciation
  100. London slang
  101. Longest word in English
  102. Middle English
  103. Modern English
  104. Names of numbers in English
  105. New Zealand English
  106. Northern subject rule
  107. Not!
  108. NuEnglish
  109. Oxford spelling
  110. Personal pronoun
  111. Phonological history of the English language
  112. Phrasal verb
  113. Plural of virus
  114. Possessive adjective
  115. Possessive antecedent
  116. Possessive me
  117. Possessive of Jesus
  118. Possessive pronoun
  119. Preposition stranding
  120. Pronunciation of English th
  121. Proper adjective
  122. Question mark
  123. Quotation mark
  124. Received Pronunciation
  125. Regional accents of English speakers
  126. Rhyming slang
  127. Run-on sentence
  128. Scouse
  129. Semicolon
  130. Semordnilap
  131. Serial comma
  132. Shall and will
  133. Silent E
  134. Singular they
  135. Slash
  136. SoundSpel
  137. Space
  138. Spelling reform
  139. Split infinitive
  140. Subjective me
  141. Suffix morpheme
  142. Tag question
  143. Than
  144. The Reverend
  145. Third person agreement leveling
  146. Thou
  147. TOEFL
  148. TOEIC
  149. Truespel
  150. University of Cambridge ESOL examination
  151. Weak form and strong form
  152. Welsh English
  153. Who
  154. You

 

 
CONDIZIONI DI USO DI QUESTO SITO
L'utente pu˛ utilizzare il nostro sito solo se comprende e accetta quanto segue:

  • Le risorse linguistiche gratuite presentate in questo sito si possono utilizzare esclusivamente per uso personale e non commerciale con tassativa esclusione di ogni condivisione comunque effettuata. Tutti i diritti sono riservati. La riproduzione anche parziale Ŕ vietata senza autorizzazione scritta.
  • Il nome del sito EnglishGratis Ŕ esclusivamente un marchio e un nome di dominio internet che fa riferimento alla disponibilitÓ sul sito di un numero molto elevato di risorse gratuite e non implica dunque alcuna promessa di gratuitÓ relativamente a prodotti e servizi nostri o di terze parti pubblicizzati a mezzo banner e link, o contrassegnati chiaramente come prodotti a pagamento (anche ma non solo con la menzione "Annuncio pubblicitario"), o comunque menzionati nelle pagine del sito ma non disponibili sulle pagine pubbliche, non protette da password, del sito stesso.
  • La pubblicitÓ di terze parti Ŕ in questo momento affidata al servizio Google AdSense che sceglie secondo automatismi di carattere algoritmico gli annunci di terze parti che compariranno sul nostro sito e sui quali non abbiamo alcun modo di influire. Non siamo quindi responsabili del contenuto di questi annunci e delle eventuali affermazioni o promesse che in essi vengono fatte!
  • L'utente, inoltre, accetta di tenerci indenni da qualsiasi tipo di responsabilitÓ per l'uso - ed eventuali conseguenze di esso - degli esercizi e delle informazioni linguistiche e grammaticali contenute sul siti. Le risposte grammaticali sono infatti improntate ad un criterio di praticitÓ e pragmaticitÓ pi¨ che ad una completezza ed esaustivitÓ che finirebbe per frastornare, per l'eccesso di informazione fornita, il nostro utente. La segnalazione di eventuali errori Ŕ gradita e darÓ luogo ad una immediata rettifica.

     

    ENGLISHGRATIS.COM Ŕ un sito personale di
    Roberto Casiraghi e Crystal Jones
    email: robertocasiraghi at iol punto it

    Roberto Casiraghi           
    INFORMATIVA SULLA PRIVACY              Crystal Jones


    Siti amici:  Lonweb Ľ Daisy Stories Ľ English4Life Ľ Scuolitalia
    Sito segnalato da INGLESE.IT

 
 



THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_E

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

Silent E

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Silent E (sometimes described by teachers as a "magic E") is a writing convention in English spelling. When reading, the silent letter e at the end of a word signals a specific pronunciation of the preceding vowel letter, as in the difference between "rid" /rɪd/ and "ride" /raɪd/. This orthographic pattern followed the phonological changes of the Great Vowel Shift in late Middle English. Educators have erroneously described this difference with the terms "short vowel" and "long vowel," both borrowed from studies of the Great Vowel Shift, when vowel length was still a meaningful distinction. Analysis of common spellings and pronunciations shows that the 'silent E' most often--but not without exceptions-- signals a different phoneme than a word spelled without it.

Effect of silent E on simple vowels

When silent E occurs in an English word, it converts a vowel to its "long" equivalent. If English were spelled with the traditional Romance language vowel values of the Latin alphabet, often these vowels would be written with another letter entirely. Moreover, alternatives exist in English for most spellings that use silent E. Depending on dialect, English has anywhere from thirteen to more than twenty separate vowel sounds (both monophthongs and diphthongs). Silent E is one of the ways English spelling is able to use the Latin alphabet's five vowel characters to represent so many vowels.

Traditionally, the vowels /ei iː ai ou juː/ (as in bait beet bite boat beauty) are said to be the "long" counterparts of the vowels /Š ɛ ɪ ɑː ʌ/ (as in bat bet bit bot but) which are said to be "short". This terminology reflects the historical pronunciation and development of those vowels; as a phonetic description of their current values, it is no longer accurate. The values of the vowels these sounds are written with used to be similar to the values those letters had in French or Italian. The traditional "long vowels" also closely correspond to the letter names those vowels bear in the English alphabet, and the letter name is usually an accurate guide to the value of the vowel that is affected by silent E.

This variety of vowels is due to the effects of the Great Vowel Shift that marked the end of Middle English and the beginning of Early Modern English. The vowel shift gave current English "long vowels" values that differ markedly from the "short vowels" that they relate to in writing. Since English has a literary tradition that goes back into the Middle English period, written English continues to use Middle English writing conventions to mark distinctions that had been reordered by the chain shift of the long vowels.

When final 'e' is not silent, this generally requires some sort of indication in English spelling. This is usually done via doubling (employee: this word has employe as an obsolete spelling). When the silent e becomes a part of an inflection, its non-silent status can be indicated by a number of diacritical marks, such as a grave accent (learnŔd) or a diaeresis (learnŰd, BrontŰ). Other diacritical marks can appear in foreign words (compare rÚsumÚ with nativized resume).

The 'a' group

The sounds of the 'a' group are some of the more dialectically complex features of contemporary modern English; the sounds that can be represented in modern English by 'a' include /Š/, /ɑː/, and /ɔ/. See broad A and cot-caught merger for some of the cross-dialect complexities of the English 'a' group. The effect of silent E on English 'a' moves it towards /eɪ/.

The 'e' group

Silent E typically moves 'e' to /iː/. This change is generally consistent across all English dialects.

The 'i' group

For the "long vowel" represented in written English by 'i', the effect of silent E is to turn it into a diphthong /aɪ/. In some dialects, this diphthong is affected by the voiced or unvoiced quality of the following consonant so that it may be closer to [əɪ]; see Canadian raising.

The 'o' group

Short 'o', in contemporary English, tends to fall in with short 'a' and to share some of the complexities of that group; depending on dialect, the written short 'o' can represent /ɑː/, /ʌ/, and /ɒ/, as well as /ɔ/ and /oː/. The usual effect of silent E on written 'o' is to fix it as a long o sound. In several dialects of English, this long /oː/ is realized as a diphthong /oʊ/; and in some forms of southern British English, the leading element is centralized further, yielding /əʊ/. All of the sounds in the previous sentence are in free variation with one another.

The 'u' group

Silent E generally turns the sound written as 'u' to its corresponding long vowel /juː/, although there are exceptions depending on dialect (see yod-dropping). Initial long 'u' as in use is almost always subject to iotacism.

Silent E and consonants

Silent E also functions as a front vowel for purposes of representing the outcome in English of palatalized sounds. For example:

  • Mac > mace (/mŠk/ > /meɪs/)
  • hug > huge (/hʌg/ > hjuːdʒ/)

where /s/ is the expected outcome of the ce digraph, and the g in huge is pronounced /dʒ/. Silent E is used in some words with 'dg' in which it does not lengthen a vowel: ridge, sedge, hodge-podge. Spelling such words with 'j', the other letter that indicates that sound, does not occur in native or nativized English words.

Truly silent E

In some common words that historically had long vowels, silent E no longer has its usual lengthening effect: come, done. This is especially common in some words that historically had 'f' instead of 'v', such as give and love; in Old English, /f/ became /v/ when it appeared between two vowels (OE giefan, lufu), while a geminated 'ff' lost its doubling to yield /f/ in that position. This also applies to a large class of words with the adjective suffix '-ive', such as captive, that originally had '-if' in French.

Some English words vary their accented syllable based on whether they are used as nouns or as adjectives. In a few words such as minute, this may affect the operation of silent E: as an adjective, min˙te has the usual value of 'u' followed by silent E, while as a noun mÝnute silent E does not operate. See initial-stress-derived noun for similar patterns that may give rise to exceptions.

History

Silent E, like many conventions of written language that no longer reflect current pronunciations, was not always silent. In Chaucer's Balade, the first line does not scan properly unless what appears to current eyes to be a silent E is pronounced:

Hyd, Absolon, thy giltŔ tresses clerŔ

Gilte ends in the same sound as modern English Malta, and clere sounds like the contemporary pronunciation of Clara. In Middle English, this final schwa had some grammatical significance, although that was mostly lost by Chaucer's time. It was elided regularly when a word beginning with a vowel came next. The consequences of silent E in contemporary spelling reflect the phonology of Middle English. In Middle English, as a consequence of the lax vowel rule shared by most Germanic languages, vowels were long when they historically occurred in stressed open syllables ; they were short when they occurred in "checked," or closed syllables. Thus bide /'biːdə/ had a long vowel, while bid /bid/ had a short one.

The historical sequence went something like this:

In Old English, vowels were phonologically long or short.
In Middle English, vowel length was lost as a phonological feature, but was still phonetically present. A word like bide, syllabified bi.de and phonetically [biːdə], had one stressed, open, long syllable. On the other hand, the word bid, although stressed, had a short vowel: [bid].
At some point unknown to us, the phonetically long vowels began to diphthongize. This was the start of the Great Vowel Shift. Possibly at the same time, the short vowels were laxed. So as "bide" [biːdə] became [bɨidə], "bid" [bid] changed to [bɪd].
At a later point, all word-final schwas were lost. The phonetic motivation for lengthening the vowel--the open syllable--was lost, but the process of diphthongization had already begun, and the vowels which had once been identical except for length were now phonetically dissimilar and phonologically distinct.

The writing convention of silent E marks the fact that different vowel qualities had become phonemic, and were preserved even when phonemic vowel length was lost.

Long vowels could arise by other mechanisms. One of these is known as "compensatory lengthening"; this occurred when consonants formerly present were lost: maid is the modern descendant of Old English mŠgde. In this example, the g actually became a glide /j/, so in a sense, the length of the consonant stayed where it always had been, and there was no "compensation." The silent E rule became available to represent long vowels in writing that arose from other sources; Old English brŷd, representing *bruʒd-i-, became Modern English bride.

The rules of current English spelling were first set forth by Richard Mulcaster in his 1582 publication Elementarie. Mulcaster called silent E "qualifying E", and wrote of it:

It altereth the sound of all the vowells, euen quite thorough one or mo consonants as, mßde, stÚme, Úche, kÝnde, strÝpe, ˇre, c˙re, tˇste sound sharp with the qualifying E in their end: whereas, mÓd, stŔm, Ŕch, frind, strip, or, cut, tost, contract of tossed sound flat without the same E, And therefor the same loud and sharp sound in the word, calleth still for the qualifying e, in the end, as the flat and short nedeth it not. It qualifyeth no ending vowell, bycause it followeth none in the end, sauing i. as in daie, maie, saie, trewlie, safetie, where it maketh i, either not to be heard, or verie gentlie to be heard, which otherwise wold sound loud and sharp, and must be expressed by y. as, deny, aby, ally. Which kinde of writing shalbe noted hereafter. It altereth also the force of, c, g, s, tho it sound not after them, as in hence, for that, which might sound henk, if anie word ended in c. in swinge differing from swing, in vse differing from vs.

Mulcaster also formulated the rule that a double letter, when final, indicated a short vowel in English, while the absence of doubling and the presence of silent E made the vowel long. In modern English, this rule is most prominent in its effects on the written "a" series:

  • gal, gall, gale (/gŠl, /gɔːl/, /geɪl/).

digraphs are sometimes treated as single letters for purposes of this rule:

  • bath, bathe (/bŠθ/, /beɪ­/)

Cultural significance

Tom Lehrer wrote a song called Silent E for the children's television series The Electric Company in 1971. In it, he asks the musical questions:

Who can turn a can into a cane?
Who can turn a pan into a pane?
It's not too hard to see,
It's Silent E.

The superhero Letterman, also featured on The Electric Company, was described as being "stronger than silent E".

A series of similar songs about Magic E was featured in the British educational series Look and Read between 1974 and 1994, written by Roger Limb and Rosanna Hibbert and performed by Derek Griffiths.

In the children's show, Between the Lions, there was an evil character called Silent E, who was featured in a musical animated sketch where he makes the vowel sounds say their names and changes the words without a silent E into words with a silent E. He is carted off to jail, but easily escapes by using either the policeman's pin and turning it into a pine to climb out the window or the policeman's cap and turning it into a cape to fly out the window. Either way, after that, the policeman shouted, "Well, Silent E, you may have slipped out of my grasp this time, but mark my words: I'll get you YET!"

External links

  • Early Modern English (PDF)
  • Questions teachers ask about spelling by Shane Templeton and Darrell Morris (PDF)
  • Elementarie by Richard Mulcaster
  • Silent E, complete lyrics by Tom Lehrer
  • Look and Read downloads, including a version of the Magic E song
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_E"