Numerologist and author Hans Decoz

Iama has a question about the letter Y and whether it makes a difference in vowel-consonant status based on how it's pronounced.



Dear Hans,

I had a name advisor reading done and read the part about the vibration of the vowels. Since the name might have a different pronunciation than it would appear in print, I wondered if that would make the reading less precise.

For example if the letter "I" is pronounced like a long "E," or if the "A" was pronounced long a or short. Or the "U" as long or short sound. I didn't know if you were only going by the letter or if the sound mattered.

My name is Iama .... Iama is pronounced ee' ah mah and ... is pronounced goo' nay.

Thank you for clarifying this for me.


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Hello Iama,

Your question about vowels reveals some gray areas within the science of numerology as well as linguistics. (Keep in mind that in numerology, the designation of vowel or consonant is at times handled somewhat differently than when viewed from a linguistic angle.)

For linguists, a letter is labeled a vowel for one, or both, of two possible reasons: 1) The letter is spoken without any restriction of the vocal cord, or 2) the letter produces the "peak" sound of a syllable. Some letters can be a vowel in one word or name, and a consonant in another.

For example, the letter "y" can be a vowel, because it fills both requirements; the peak sound in the syllable and its pronounced without any vocal restriction, such as in the word "syllable," (pun intended) making it a vowel, while other times, such as is the case with the word "yes," the letter "y" should be considered a consonant.

Similarly, there are consonants that when found in certain words sound like vowels but are considered consonants, such as the "w" in "weather" or "warm." In both cases, the pronunciation of the "w" does not cause any restriction of the vocal cord, and should therefore be judged a vowel, yet is not. All in all, especially when we include the phonetic versus phonological vowel sound, it can get pretty confusing.

In numerology, there are a few letters than can be either a vowel or a consonant, like the "y" and on rare occasions, the "w," although few numerologists consider the "w" a vowel under any circumstances. It is due to the fact that not all numerologists agree, that our Decoz Numerology Software has an option under Preferences that gives you the choice of designating a "y" or a "w" to be either a vowel or a consonant, or let the software decide based on certain long-accepted parameters.

The Help section of our software has an in-depth explanation of all this, including which parameters the software applies when it judges a letter to be either a vowel or a consonant.

Which brings me to your name, Iama, where the first letter may seem to be more of a consonant than a vowel. However, that is not the case. In fact, both factors that determine a letter to be a vowel are in place. It has the typical vowel sound, because there is no restriction of the vocal cord, and it is also the peak sound of the syllable, as your first name is pronounced in two syllables, the first one consisting only of the letter "i."

Therefore, the Name Advisor came to the correct conclusion; the letter "i" in your name is a vowel.

There are occasions when arguments for both, vowel or consonant, apply, depending whether you look at it from a linguistic or numerology perspective. Like in the name Yolanda, where the first letter is pronounced without restricting the vocal cord (although it does not create a peak sound in the syllable, the letter "o" is responsible for that), making it a vowel.

In numerology, the most important factor considered is whether or not it produces the peak sound. In fact, one of the rules is that if a "y" is found to be next to a vowel and that vowel is part of the same syllable, the letter "y" should be designated a consonant.

In yummy, one "y" is a vowel, the other a consonant. Can you tell which is which?

Hans Decoz



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