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Related to Semivowels: Semiconsonant, Offglide, Vocoid


A sound that has the quality of one of the high vowels, as (ē) or (o͞o), and that functions as a consonant before or after vowels, as the initial sounds of yell and well and the final sounds of coy and cow. Also called glide.


1. (Phonetics & Phonology) a vowel-like sound that acts like a consonant, in that it serves the same function in a syllable carrying the same amount of prominence as a consonant relative to a true vowel, the nucleus of the syllable. In English and many other languages the chief semivowels are (w) in well and (j), represented as y, in yell
2. (Phonetics & Phonology) a frictionless continuant classified as one of the liquids; (l) or (r)
Also called (US and Canadian): glide


(ˈsɛm ɪˌvaʊ əl)

a speech sound of vowel quality used as a consonant, as (w) in wet or (y) in yet.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.semivowel - a vowellike sound that serves as a consonant
speech sound, phone, sound - (phonetics) an individual sound unit of speech without concern as to whether or not it is a phoneme of some language
palatal - a semivowel produced with the tongue near the palate (like the initial sound in the English word `yeast')
References in periodicals archive ?
Lastly, the presence of the following features was investigated in the preceding and following context of the target sounds: oral vowels, semivowels, nasal vowels, coronal consonants, dorsal consonants, labial consonants, or empty context [20].
Some include fricatives, liquids, nasals, and vowels; others include any consonant except plosives and affricates; others include any consonant except plosives, affricates, nasals, and semivowels.
Semivowels are restricted to /w/ and /y/, and pattern as consonants.
Epenthetic vowels are inserted after consonants or semivowels if the following case marker consists of a single consonant for instance the first genitive.
There are four appendices: Appendix I: "AI Pitch Designations," Appendix II: "AI IPA Symbols for Vowels, Semivowels and French Nasal Vowel Sounds, "Appendix III: "IPA Symbols for Consonant Sounds" and Appendix IV: "Repertoire for Younger or Beginning Singers.
1 Assonance (recurrence of similar vowels or semivowels in neighboring words).
da-dam- "blow," and, perhaps, some of the stems listed above) suggests that the Middle West Iranian formant -id- or -ad- has been reduced to semivowels and then absorbed into the past stem.
One might expect those ending in dolce semivowels (cat.
10 above), there was nevertheless a fairly even-handed vacillation between <s> and <s> in their representation of Semitic */s/ (not necessarily deriving from traditional PS */s/), except in some environments where the sibilant was in contact with a high vowel or a reflex of one of the corresponding semivowels.
for diphthong semivowels, as well as [r] for all consonantal allophones.
The -w(w) of gabarewwo or -y(y) of gabarkeyyo are simply semivowels, w, y, to avoid the meeting of u-o.