Usually, in linguistics
is considered a semi-vowel
(which is quite the same). This means that it neither is a full consonant
nor a full vowel
. It's a mix of both of them. Anyhow, in some languages
the letter "y"
may be, as already noded, used as a full vowel.
The reason why /y/
is regarded a semi-consonant lies in its phonological
definition as a "palatal approximant
". This means that, when producing the sound [j]
, your tongue approximates your palate
, but does not touch it (if it would touch it, it would create the german "ich"-sound
in the IPA
Another semi-consonant is the english /w/
in IPA), which is a bilabial