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Dictionary of the British English Spelling System

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Greg Brooks

Appendix B: Pedagogically selected lists of phoneme-grapheme and grapheme-phoneme correspondences

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1These lists are intended to be much more useful to teachers and to writers of early reading books than the full lists of correspondences in chapter 8. Similar tables (also largely devised by me) appeared in the Notes of Guidance to Letters and Sounds (DfES, 2007). As far as possible I have ensured that all words within the 1000 most frequent words in English whose correspondences are not covered by the major correspondences are listed in the right-hand columns of Tables B1-2 and in Tables B. 6 and B. 8. My source for the 1000 most frequent words was: http://en.wiktionary.org/​w/​index.php?title=Category:1000_English_basic_words&pagefrom=stamp#mwpages [last accessed 20/8/2012].

2For guidance on the phonetics underpinning the application of these lists in phonics teaching see Burton (2011), which also contains versions of these lists.

TABLE B. 1: THE PHONEME-GRAPHEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, BY RP PHONEME, 1: CONSONANTS

Phoneme

Grapheme(s)

As in…

Common words with rare graphemes for the phoneme

Basic

Other

/b/

b

bb

bed rabbit

<bu> build buy

/k/

c

ck k q ch

come back look queen Christmas

<cu> biscuit

/tʃ/

ch

tch

children match

<t> nature picture <ti> question

/d/

d

dd ed

dad teddy called

TABLE B. 1: THE PHONEME-GRAPHEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, BY RP PHONEME, 1: CONSONANTS, CONT.

Phoneme

Grapheme(s)

As in…

Common words with rare graphemes for the phoneme

Basic

Other

/f/

f

ff ph

from off elephant

<ft> often soften <gh> cough enough laugh rough tough

/g/

g

gg

get jogging

<gh> ghost <gu> guess guy

/h/

h

horse

<wh> who whole whose

/dʒ/

j

dg dge g ge

just budgie bridge giant orange

/m/

m

mm

my mummy

<mb> climb lamb thumb <me> come some <mn> autumn column

/n/

n

nn

now dinner

<gn> gnome sign <kn> knife knock knot know <ne> done engine none

/ŋ/

ng

n

sing sink

<ngue> tongue

/p/

p

pp

pen apple

<ph> shepherd

/r/

r

rr

red berry

<rh> rgyme rhythm <wr> write wrong

/s/

s

c ce se ss

sit city once horse grass

<sc> science scissors <st> castle Christmas listen whistle

/ʃ/

sh

ti

ship station

<ch> machine <ci> special
<s> sugar sure
<ss> issue pressure tissue
<ssi> permission

/ʒ/

si

vision

<s> measure pleasure treasure usual

/t/

t

tt ed

but little looked

<pt> receipt <th> Thomas <tw> two

/θ/

th

thing

/ð/

th

that

<the> breathe

/v/

v

ve

very have

<bv> obvious <f> of

/w/

w

u

went queen

<wh> what when (etc.) wheel whistle white
/wʌ/ spelt <o> once one

/j/

y

yellow

<i> onion view

/z/

z

s se ze zz

zoo is please sneeze puzzle

<si> business <ss> scissors

TABLE B. 2: THE PHONEME-GRAPHEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, BY RP PHONEME, 2: VOWELS

Phoneme

Grapheme(s)

As in…

Common words with rare graphemes for the phoneme

Basic

Other

/æ/

a

and

/ə/

a

e er o

a the butter button

<ar> sugar <i> possible <our> colour favour honour <re> centre <ure> nature picture

/eɪ/

a.e

a ai ay

came bacon paint day

<aigh> straight <ea> break great steak <eigh> eight <ey> they

/eə/

air

are ar

fair fare parent

<ear> bear pear tear wear <ere> there where <eir> their

/ɑː/

ar

a

far ask

<al> half <are> are <au> aunt laugh <ear> heart

/e/

e

ea

went bread

<a> any many <ai> again (st) said <ay> says <ie> friend

/iː/

ee

e ea ey ie y

see he beach key field city

<e. e> these <eo> people <i. e> police

/ɪə/

eer

ear er ere

cheer hear hero here

<ier> fierce

/ɜː/

er

ir or ur

her girl word fur

<ear> early earth heard learn <ere> were <our> journey

/ɪ/

i

e y

is England gym

<a> language sausage <o> women <u> business minute

/aɪ/

i. e

i igh y

like I night my

<ei> either <eigh> height <eye> eye <ye> goodbye /aɪe/ spelt <ir, ire, yre> biro fire wire tyre

/ɒ/

o

a

not was

<au> because sausage <ho> honest honour <ou> cough

/uː/

oo

ew u u.e

too blew super rule

<o> do to two who <oe> shoe <o.e> lose move prove whose <ou> you <ough> through <ue> blue true <ui> fruit

/əʊ/

o

o. e ow

so bone blow

<oa> approach boat <oh> oh <ough> although

/ɔɪ/

oi

oy

boil boy

/ʊ/

oo

u

book put

<o> woman <oul> could should would

TABLE B. 2: THE PHONEME-GRAPHEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, BY RP PHONEME, 2: VOWELS, CONT.

Phoneme

Grapheme(s)

As in…

Common words with rare graphemes for the phoneme

Basic

Other

/ʊə/

oor

ure

poor sure

<our> tour

/ɔː/

or

a ar au aw ore

for all warn sauce saw before

<augh> caught naughty <oar> board <oor> door floor <ough> bought brought fought ought thought <our> course four your

/aʊ/

ou

ow

out down

/aʊə/ spelt <hour> hour /aʊə/ spelt <our, ower> flour flower

/ʌ/

u

o

but some

<oo> blood flood <ou> country couple double encourage enough rough tough trouble young /wʌ/ spelt <o> once one

TABLE B. 3: THE PHONEME-GRAPHEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 3: 2-PHONEME SEQUENCES FREQUENTLY SPELT WITH SINGLE GRAPHEMES

2-phoneme sequence

Grapheme(s)

As in…

2-grapheme spellings for same sequence

Basic

Other

/əl/ (only word-final)

le

little

animal label pencil carol beautiful

/juː/

u

eau ew ue u. e

union beauty few argue cute

view you

/ks/

x

box

banks tricks politics

N. B. The 2-phoneme sequence /kw/ is almost always spelt <qu> and should also be taught as a unit.

TABLE B. 4: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 1: SINGLE GRAPHEMES FREQUENTLY PRONOUNCED AS 2-PHONEME SEQUENCES

Grapheme(s)

2-phoneme sequence

Other phonemes

As in…

eau ew u ue u.e

/juː/

(too many to list)

beauty few union argue cute

le (only word-final)

/əl/

little

x

/ks/

box

N. B. The 2-grapheme sequence <qu> is almost always pronounced/kw/and should be taught as a unit.

TABLE B. 5: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 2: MAJOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR CONSONANT GRAPHEMES.

Grapheme(s)

Phonemes(s)

As in…

Basic

Other

b bb

/b/

bed rabbit

c

/k/

/s/

come city

ce

/s/

once

ch

/tʃ/

/k/

children Christmas

ck

/k/

back

d dd

/d/

dad teddy

dg (e)

/dʒ/

budgie bridge

ed

/d/

/t/

called looked

f ff

/f/

from off

g

/g/

/dʒ/

get giant

ge

/dʒ/

orange

gg

/g/

jogging

h

/h/

horse

j

/dʒ/

just

k

/k/

look

l ll

/l/

leg ball

TABLE B. 5: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 2: MAJOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR CONSONANT GRAPHEMES, CONT.

Grapheme(s)

Phoneme(s)

As in…

Basic

Other

n

/n/

/ŋ/

now sink

ng

/ŋ/

sing

nn

/n/

dinner

p pp

/p/

pen apple

ph

/f/

elephant

q

/k/

queen

r rr

/r/

red berry

s se

/s/

/z/

sit is horse please

sh

/ʃ/

ship

si

/ʒ/

vision

ss

/s/

grass

t tt

/t/

but little

tch

/tʃ/

match

th

/θ/

/ð/

thing that

ti

/ʃ/

/tʃ/

station question

u

/w/

queen

v ve

/v/

very have

w

/w/

went

y

/j/

yellow

z ze zz

/z/

zoo sneeze puzzle

TABLE B.6: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 3: MINOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR CONSONANT GRAPHEMES

Grapheme(s)

Phoneme (s)

As in…

bu

/b/

build buy

bv

/v/

obvious

ch ci

/ʃ/

machine special

cu

/k/

biscuit

f

/v/

of

ft

/f/

often soften

gh

/f g/

cough enough laugh rough tough; ghost

gn

/n/

gnome sign

gu

/g/

guess guy

i

/j/

onion view

kn

/n/

knife knock knot know

mb me mn

/m/

climb lamb thumb; come some; autumn column

ne

/n/

done engine none

ngue

/ŋ/

tongue

o

/wʌ/

once one

ph

/p/

shepherd

pt

/t/

receipt

rh

/r/

rhyme rhythm

s ssi

/ʃ/

sugar sure; permission

s

/ʒ/

measure pleasure treasure usual

sc

/s/

science scissors

si

/z/

business

ss

/ʃ z/

issue pressure tissue; scissors

st

/s/

castle Christmas listen whistle

t

/tʃ/

nature picture

th tw

/t/

Thomas two

the

/ð/

breathe

wh

/h w/

who whole whose; what when (etc.) wheel whistle white

wr

/r/

write wrong

TABLE B. 7: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 4: MAJOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR VOWEL GRAPHEMES

Grapheme(s)

Phoneme(s)

As in…

Basic

Other

a

/æ/

/eɪ ɑː ɒ ɔː ə/

and bacon ask was all about

a. e ai ay

/eɪ/

came paint day

air are

/eə/

fair fare

ar

/ɑː/

/eə ɔː/

far parent warn

au aw

/ɔː/

sauce saw

e

/e/

/iː ɪ ə/

went he England the

ea

/iː/

/e/

beach bread

ear eer ere

/ɪə/

hear cheer here

ee ey

/iː/

see key

er

/ɜː/

/ɪə ə/

her hero butter

ew

/uː/

blew

i

/ɪ/

/aɪ/

is I

ie

/iː/

field

i. e igh

/aɪ/

like night

ir

/ɜː/

girl

o

/ɒ/

/ʌ əʊ ə/

not some so button

o.e

/əʊ/

bone

oi oy

/ɔɪ/

boil boy

oo

/uː/

/ʊ/

too book

oor

/ɔː/

/ʊə/

door poor

or

/ɔː/

/ɜː/

for worm

ore

/ɔː/

before

ou

/aʊ/

out

ow

/aʊ/

/əʊ/

down blow

u

/ʌ/

/ʊ uː/

but put super

u. e

/uː/

rule

ur

/ɜː/

fur

y

/aɪ/

/ɪ iː/

my gym city

TABLE B. 8: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 5: MINOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR VOWEL GRAPHEMES

Grapheme(s)

Phoneme(s)

As in…

a

/e ɪ/

any many; language sausage

ai ay

/e/

again(st) said says

aigh

/eɪ/

straight

al are

/ɑː/

half; are

ar

/ə/

sugar

au

/ɑː ɒ/

aunt laugh; because sausage

augh

/ɔː/

caught naughty

ea ey

/eɪ/

break great steak; they

ear

/eə ɑː ɜː/

bear pear tear wear; heart; early earth heard learn

e.e eo

/iː/

these; people

ei

/aɪ/

either

eigh

/eɪ aɪ/

eight; height

eir

/eə/

their

ere

/eə ɜː/

there where; were

eye

/aɪ/

eye

ho

/ɒ/

honest honour

hour

/aʊə/

hour

i

/ə/

possible

ie

/e/

friend

i.e

/iː/

police

ier

/ɪə/

fierce

ir ire

/aɪə/

biro fire wire

o

/ʊ ɪ wʌ/

woman; women; once one

o oe o. e

/uː/

do to two who; shoe; lose move prove whose

oa oh

/əʊ/

approach boat oh

oar

/ɔː/

board

oo

/ʌ/

blood flood

oor

/ɔː/

door floor

ou

/ɒ uː ʌ/

cough; you; country couple double encourage enough rough tough trouble young

TABLE B. 8: THE GRAPHEME-PHONEME CORRESPONDENCES OF BRITISH ENGLISH SPELLING, 5: MINOR CORRESPONDENCES FOR VOWEL GRAPHEMES, CONT.

Grapheme(s)

Phoneme(s)

As in…

ough

/əʊ uː ɔː/

although; through; bought brought fought ought thought

oul

/ʊ/

could should would

our

/ə ɜː ʊə ɔː aʊə/

colour favour honour; journey; tour; course four your; flour

ower

/aʊə/

flower

re

/ə/

centre

u

/ɪ/

business minute

ue ui

/uː/

blue true fruit

ure

/ə/

nature picture

ye

/aɪ/

goodbye

yre

/aɪə/

tyre

Acheter

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