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Split digraph

  • September 25, 2015
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Phonemes are the most basic units of sound in English and graphemes are the symbols that represent them. For instance, the alphabet has 26 graphemes, and each represents a unique sound. To better remember this, keep in mind that spoken language was invented before written language. Mixing graphemes together in different combinations is how words are crafted.

Some sound representations are composed of more than one grapheme; the most common of these have either two or three graphemes. To emphasize, these combinations represent a single sound, one phoneme, and should not be confused with letter blends in which each letter might be clearly heard.

Split digraphConsonant Digraph Examples

Ff: scoff, whiff, off

Ch: chimp, bleach, churn

Ph: triumph, elephant, Phoenix

Th: them, with, thing

Ck: black, trick, snack

Sh: shirt, mash, fish

Vowel Digraph Examples

Oa: road, coat, soap

Ai: rain, aim, paid

Oo: took, boom, school

Ee: speed, free, meet

Oi: coin, doily, rejoice

Split Digraph

This term refers to separating the pair of letters with another grapheme. This is frequently seen with -ee but there are plenty using the other vowels and -e at the end. Some may refer to this as the silent -e, but in reality, any grapheme is just a representation of a phoneme. The entire grapheme is one unit, so it would be incorrect to say any part of it is silent. Notice how each example word retains its original phoneme sound.

Ee: eve, delete, scheme, these

Ue: cube, tune, rude, tube

Oe: bone, home, throne, code

Ie: kite, time, write, mine

Ae: shape, frame, mane, save

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