2

French, like English has a few digraphs, e.g. "ph" /f/ in both French and English, and "ch", /ʃ/ in French, /tʃ/ in English.

In words such as:

thermomètre

mathématique

is "th" considered a digraph with the pronunciation /t/; or two separate letters, "t" and "h" with the respective pronunciations /t/ and // (silent)? Obviously, both interpretations give the same pronunciation, but I'm wondering which one, if either, is considered "proper".

4

Referring to the list of French digraphs on Wikipedia, th is not present in the list, suggesting the French language does not seem to consider it as a digraph.

However, there is an existing page for the th digraph on French Wikipedia, listing its use in different languages, and stating:

This digraph is also sometimes used in other languages, such as French (in this case, the digraph comes from Ancient Greek), to represent the /t/ sound.


In fact, most of the French words featuring th seem to come from Ancient Greek:

  • 1
    I agree that they're not considered digrams, but I don't think the fact that they come from ancient Greek is an argument for it. Basically any /f/ sound in Greek words (which is one letter in Greek, just like th) gives a "ph" in French, which is digram. – Teleporting Goat Feb 15 at 10:31

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