Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Spanish alphabet traditionally consists of the following 30 letters:
It has the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet plus the letter Ñ, representing a voiced, nasal palatal sound. Since Ñ is a separate letter, and not an accented character, it is alphabetized after N. So, in English piñata comes before ping-pong (ñ is considered in English to be an accented n), but in Spanish, ping-pong comes first (again, because ñ is a separate letter in Spanish).
K is not often found in Spanish words, and W still less; they only appear in words taken from other languages.
Finally, there are three sounds in the Spanish language which are represented by digraphs, namely ch, ll and rr . Traditionally ch and ll were alphabetized after c and l respectively. In 1994 the Spanish Academy dropped this custom joining other dictionary makers. It made alphabetization too different from other European languages making it difficult for foreigners to understand. It also can be noted that it is linguistically incorrect to identify graphs with sounds.
By default, the stress in a word falls on the penult if the word ends with a vowel, n, or s, and on the ultima otherwise. Wherever the stress does not follow this rule, it must be indicated with an acute accent (á, é, í, ó, ú, called acento agudo or simply acento in Spanish) over the relevant vowel. The acute accent over a stressed vowel also acts as a diæresis to prevent the formation of a diphthong, as in país, which has two syllables, not one. In addition, the acute accent distinguishes interrogative pronouns from their relative counterparts (¿dónde? but donde) and various other words that are otherwise spelt the same (si 'if' but sí 'yes').
Spanish also uses the diæresis (diéresis) over u (ü) in the two combinations güe and güi to indicate that the u is pronounced ([gwe] and [gwi]), as it would ordinarily be silent in gue and gui. Occasionally it occurs in poetry over the first vowel of a diphthong to indicate an irregular disyllabic pronunciation required by the metre (vïuda, to be pronounced as three syllables).
|E||e||N||ene||V||ve, uve, be baja|
|F||efe||Ñ||eñe||W||doble ve, doble u, or uve doble|
|H||hache||P||pe||Y||i griega, or ye|
- Spanish Alphabet - Interactive Spanish Alphabet. You will learn how to pronounce all the letters by themselves and in several words.
- http://spanish.allinfo-about.com/pronunciation/pr-alphabet.html - Site including .wav files with the pronunciations of all of the traditional 30 letters of the Spanish alphabet.
- http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Pronouncing_Spanish_words - Wikibook with extensive coverage of the Spanish letter pronunciation.
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