digraph

The term digraph describes a combination of two letters that represent only a single phoneme. Each is cued with a single handshape or placement cue.

Consonant Digraphs Phoneme Cue Examples
ch /ʧchch/ Handshape 8 cheek, searches, which
ck /kkk/ Handshape 2 luck, clock, flick
gh /fff/ Handshape 5 laugh, rough, cough
ng /ŋngng/ Handhsape 8 sing, wrong, hang
ph /fff/ Handshape 5 phone, aphid, graph
sh /ʃshsh/ Handshape 6 ship, dishes, wish
th (voiced) /ðt͟htH/ Handshape 2 them, father, writhe
th (voiceless) /θthth/ Handshape 7 thief, Catholic, both
wh /ʍhwhw/ or /www/ Handshape 4 or 6 (*also 3) what, when, where, (*who)

Relevance to Cueing

wh-“

The pronunciation difference between whether and weather is losing ground. Relatively few English speakers make this distinction despite its difference in spelling. Instructors should discourage new cuers who consider adopting this difference in their cueing though if it does not already exist in their dialect. Some believe it would be advantageous to have an “extra” phoneme in one’s dialect or that this might provide advantages for reading. However, it creates an artificial dialect in the deaf cuer. It is not a good idea to change one’s pronunciation when speaking to children in order to have one’s speech more closely resemble the way words are written

See Also

whether

  • /ʍɛˈðɚ/
  • /hwehˈtHur/
  • /hwěˈt͟hûr/
  • 4c2m

weather

  • /wɛˈðɚ/
  • /wehˈtHur/
  • /wěˈt͟hûr/
  • 6c2m