Is Sh an S blend?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The sound combination “sh” is not considered an “S blend.” When we talk about blends, we are referring to two or more consonant sounds that are pronounced individually and then blended together. In the case of “sh,” the two letters “s” and “h” come together to create a single sound, rather than being pronounced separately.

To understand this better, let’s take a closer look at the sounds made by each letter. The letter “s” produces the sound /s/, which is a voiceless alveolar fricative. On the other hand, the letter “h” creates the sound /h/, which is a voiceless glottal fricative. When these two sounds combine, they create the unique sound /ʃ/, which is represented by the digraph “sh.”

The sound /ʃ/ is commonly found in words like “ship,” “wish,” and “push.” If we were to break down the word “ash” into individual sounds, we would hear the /æ/ vowel sound followed by the /ʃ/ sound. In this case, the “sh” in “ash” functions as a digraph, representing a single sound rather than a blend of two separate sounds.

So, in summary, while “sh” does involve the letters “s” and “h,” it is not considered an “S blend” because it represents a single sound, /ʃ/. Blends, on the other hand, involve the individual sounds of each letter being pronounced separately and then blended together.