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Successive Consonants

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Tell me your English language work which contains the largest number of successive consonants.
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Question by:GRayL
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34 Comments
 
LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17078171
First thing, change work to word
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Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17078192
or consecutive
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Expert Comment

by:omgang
ID: 17078204
twelfths?

OM Gang
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17078222
No cigar;-)
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17078279
Now that I think about it a simple query on an English language dictionary would do it:

Select word from dictionary where word like "*[!a,!e,!i,!o,!u][!a,!e,!i,!o,!u][!a,!e,!i,!o,!u][!a,!e,!i,!o,!u]*"

would find all the words containing 4 consecutive consonants. Keep growing it until you don't get anything back?

Anybody there?
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Expert Comment

by:omgang
ID: 17078291
angsts?  still 5 consecutive but shorter word.

OM Gang
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17078314
I spent a few years thumbing thru a big dictionary before I found six.  But not until now did I get the eurika - the db can do it for me.  Without using my query, I 'discovered' "latchstring".  But I do not have a dbDictionary so I'll wait to see if there is seven or more.  Thanks,

Ray
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Expert Comment

by:omgang
ID: 17078361
Interesting - latchstring opens a whole new avenue of thinking since it surely was at one time two words that have since been concantenated.  It seems quite possible then that there exists a similarly concantenated word with 6 or more consecutive consonants.  Of course, one could arguably create a newly concantenated word and only have to wait until it was adopted into a dictionary - i.e. angststring  1) sequence of text that is the source of anxiety or apprehension often accompnied by depression.

As a programmer surely you've experienced an angststring.

OM Gang
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Harisha M G
ID: 17078408
RHYTHMS ?
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Expert Comment

by:Harisha M G
ID: 17078455
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LVL 17
ID: 17079445
strengths
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:hiteshgupta1
ID: 17079654
E*ncycl*opedia
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:hiteshgupta1
ID: 17079690
"Stythy"

all six letters are consonants

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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:hiteshgupta1
ID: 17079772
Stythy is a noun of stithy
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17082096
To count, we do not allow the letter "y".  I got a ton of 5 letter ones, but still only one six letter.  Nightshade, yachtsman, yachtswoman, landsknecht, handspring, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:Harisha M G
ID: 17083699
Hmm.. y is a recent addition to vowels then :)

But I think RHYTHMS is the LARGEST word containing only consonants.
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Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17083805
According to AskOxford.com

Yes, the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant! In terms of sound, a vowel is 'a speech sound which is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction...', while a consonant is 'a basic speech sound in which the breath is at least partly obstructed' (definitions from the  New Oxford Dictionary of English, 1998). The letter Y can be used to represent different sounds in different words, and can therefore fit either definition. In myth or hymn it is clearly a vowel, and also in words such as my, where it stands for a diphthong (a combination of two vowel sounds). On the other hand, in a word like beyond there is an obstacle to the breath which can be heard between two vowels, and the same sound begins words like young and yes. (This consonant sound, like that of the letter W, is sometimes called a 'semivowel' because it is made in a similar way to a vowel, but functions in contrast to vowels when used in words.) Whether the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant is therefore rather an arbitrary decision. The letter is probably more often used as a vowel, but in this role is often interchangeable with the letter I. However, the consonant sound is not consistently represented in English spelling by any other letter, and perhaps for this reason Y tends traditionally to be counted among the consonants.

By this definition, the letter Y in RHYTHMS is a vowel, as in myth.  
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Accepted Solution

by:
Harisha M G earned 250 total points
ID: 17083865
> The letter is probably more often used as a vowel, but in this role is often interchangeable with the letter I. However, the consonant sound is not consistently represented in English spelling by any other letter, and perhaps for this reason Y tends traditionally to be counted among the consonants.

Yes...


> Whether the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant is therefore rather an arbitrary decision.

I consider it as consonant !!

and I now change my definition:

Considering to "traditional" English alphabets, rhythms is the largest word containing only consonants, and also the word having 7 consecutive consonants.
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17084230
Nothing arbitrary - If Oxford considers it a vowel in this specific case - it is a vowel.

Tsk, tsk, tautologic - if a word consists entirely of consonants, I believe the consonants have to be consecutive;-)
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17084249
As to angstring, I can only find reference to it in German.
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:neopolitan
neopolitan earned 100 total points
ID: 17084596
Looks like 7 is the best in English:
Harish has given rhythms
Another is HIRSCHSPRUNG'S DISEASE
Other languages are blessed with longer ones !! :)
http://members.aol.com/gulfhigh2/words8.html
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17084863
I don't think a German person's name can qualify as an English language word, even though it is used my the medical community in their English texts.  Make sure your genes don't allow this one.  From where I sit I'm still looking at six.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 17084945
>In terms of sound, a vowel is 'a speech sound which is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction...'

Does this mean that the word "why" consists of three vowels?
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by:GRayL
ID: 17085076
Do you mean you can pronounce "wh" without audible friction...!  
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Expert Comment

by:moorhouselondon
ID: 17085102
According to the pronunciation guide on dictionary.com one can.
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Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17085209
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Wwysdom
ID: 17086583
Other common words with 6 consonants: catchphrase, lengthsman, flightstrip, nightshriek...

just google it...
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 17086843
bergschrund bergschrunds catchphrase catchphrases eschscholtzia eschscholtzias festschrift festschriften festschrifts goldschmidtine ...
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:AndrewGustely
AndrewGustely earned 150 total points
ID: 17089905
The trick for those actually interested in the linguistical ramifications (as opposed to those who feel google is the answer to all) is to combine two syllables one that ends in a series of consonants and one that begins with a series of consonants. Words like catchphrase, lengthsman et al. do this because they are compound nouns (and since compound nouns are primarily based on the vernacular they could possibly be discounted on that technicality. Being truly two seperate words that were hooked toghether from the vernacular of the time.)

What we are truly concerned about is the consonant strings. While remaining in english there are a limited number of large ones
good examples of 3 letter ones are:
ght
tch
ths
shr

ngth is a nice 4 letter one, unfortauntly it is hard to put in the middle of a word lending itself mostly to the word "length" and more compound words. (one could imagine in a future vernacular for example the existance of the term lengthshriek who's meaning is self evident, and who's consonants number 7.)



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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 17090152
miaoued - I consider eiaou to be consonants ;)
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:bk_jreinstein
ID: 17091240
Twe'lfthstr'eet  ?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:bk_jreinstein
ID: 17091274
ei'ghthstr'eet  ?
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LVL 44

Author Comment

by:GRayL
ID: 17091599
Thanks everyone.  I am satisfied there is currently not seven or more.  The lion's share to mgh_mgharish for his tenacity,  a good bit to AndrewGustely for his 'food for thought', and the remainder to neopolitan for actually finding a name with 7, albeit German.
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:ozo
ID: 17093007
In German
Angstschweis" Angstschweis"es Angstschwelle Gerichtsschreiber Gerichtsschreibern Geschichtsschreiber Geschichtsschreibers Geschichtsschreibung Glu"ckwunschschreiben
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