Middle English Consonants

Middle English Consonants

The consonants of Middle English should give you little trouble, once you become familiar with the spelling conventions. See the “Tower of Babel” transcription exercise for some of the details.
Some other things to look for:
the spelling wh usually corresponds to a [hw] pronunciation
In words like know, knave, gnaw, and gnof, the initial stop is pronounced.

The sounds [v], [z], and [ð] (eth) now appear at the beginning of a word because of borrowing (e.g. vice, zeal) or voicing due to lack of stress (e.g. the, they).


1. What are some of the phonemic values assigned to the letter yogh, ʒ (the Middle English letter that resembles a numeral 3)? Give examples.

2. What are some ways that the sound [š], the fricative in the word "shush") can be represented in spelling?