22. Vowel sounds in English
(as contrasted with other western languages)
The easiest way you can trash your pronunciation of other languages (including Latin scientific names) is to apply English vowel sounds to them. The names used for English vowel sounds are called:
a pronounced in the alphabet as ay (as in the word mate)
e pronounced in the alphabet as ee (as in the word edict)
i pronounced in the alphabet as ei (as in the word life)
o pronounced in the alpbabet as oh (as in the word only)
u pronounced in the alphabet as yu (as in the word union)
y pronounced in the alphabet as why is usually considered to be a consonant (as in yet). But it also is used as a vowel (as in merry), and then functions as a letter i.
The vowel a may be pronounced:
1. a as in apple (short a)
2. a as in father (long a)
3. ay as in mate (peculiarly English a)
4. as a schwa*. 5. "e" as in many. 6. "aw" as in mall.
7. "o" as in alter. 8. "eh" as in Mary.
The vowel e may be pronounced:
1. e as in get (short e)
2. e as in beta ["bay-ta"] (long e)
3. ee as in edict (peculiarly English e)
4. as a schwa*. 5. "uh" as in mercy. 6. or it may be silent as in life.
The vowel i may be pronounced:
1. i as in pit (short i)
2. i as in machine (long i)
3. ei as in life (peculiarly English i)
4. as a schwa"
The vowel o may be pronounced:
1. o as in font (short o)
2. oh as in only (long o)
3. "uh" as in some. 4. as a schwa*
The vowel u may be pronounced:
1. u as in full (short u)
2. u as in brute (long u)
3. yu as in union (peculiarly English u)
4. "uh" as in cup
*a schwa is an unstressed vowel such as the a in comma, e in model, second o in common, i as in one American pronunciation of mobile [mob"uh"l], all pronounced as "uh" by many speakers.
The long and short sounds for each letter (those labelled 1. and 2. under each vowel sound) occur in Latin and in many European languages. But the sounds ay (for a), ee (for e), ei (for i), and yu (for u), which are the sounds of the English alphabet are not the Latin sounds of those letters (SECTION 10.). The explanation by Borror et al. (An introduction to the study of insects) of these vowel sounds in Latin is here considered wrong because it is not the way Latin has been taught for the last 50 years.