Digraph

credit: Petr KratochvilIn yesterday's blog I wrote that in brothel is a digraph but not in hothead. Why? A sequence of two letters is called a digraph if these two letters represent a single sound (or alternatives of single sounds). Otherwise the two letters are just a sequence of two letters expressing two sounds.
The term digraph comes from Greek δι (= twice) and γραφή (= writing). English has a lot of digraphs, eg. as in fruit, as in food or as in fish. There are trigraphs such as as in catch and even tetragraphs: or as in caught and bought. Pentagraphs ...? Maybe, if you accept the proper name Nietzsche in its English pronunciation. Heptagraphs ...? Can YOU find one in English?
Now that we know what a digraph in the linguistic sense of the term is, we can return to the problem of the ambiguous letter-to-sound relation of , which I shall do in my next blog.