G and J pronunciation frequencies and “rules”

In general words beginning in g are pronounced using the /g/ sound – except ge words, gy words and a lot of gi words. J words and most ge and gy words together with a lot of gi words use the /ʤ/ sound.

If a learner wants to use a ‘rule’ then gi -no rules, learn what you need to know I found less than 100 gi words in total of which about a dozen are common – see below.

I have not looked at mid position gs but suspect they follow the same pattern – agent /ʤ/ aggregate, begin /g/.

Again with final position g I think they all have the /g/ sound.

If you find vast numbers of commonly used G/J words that do not fit this pattern please let me know.

This crude analysis was taken from a 2,000,000 words extract from the written section of the BNC, using the MonoConc Pro concordancer, where I found 1,440 words beginning in G or J, but this figure does include proper nouns and plurals.

/g/

/ʤ/

ga words – game, garden
(exception get and a small number of others) ge words – German, g99esture, generic
gh words – ghost
gi words – giggle, gift gi words – gin, gigantic
gl words – glue, glimps
go words – go, goal
gr words – green, great, grown
gu words – gut, gun
(exception gynaecology and a small number of others) gy words – gym, gypsum, gypsy
(exception Jean as a name) j words

gi words.

      						      199: 0.0062% giant
         						4: 0.0001% giant-eyed
        						37: 0.0012% giants
        21: 0.0007% gibb
        						 7: 0.0002% gibbet
        10: 0.0003% gibbons
        31: 0.0010% gibbs
        						21: 0.0007% gibraltar
        29: 0.0009% gibson
         4: 0.0001% giddy
        11: 0.0003% gifford
        59: 0.0018% gift
        11: 0.0003% gifted
        36: 0.0011% gifts
         4: 0.0001% gig
        						10: 0.0003% gigantic
        11: 0.0003% giggle
        15: 0.0005% giggled
         5: 0.0002% giggles
        15: 0.0005% giggling
        15: 0.0005% giggs
         9: 0.0003% gigs
        21: 0.0007% gilbert
        16: 0.0005% gilda
         8: 0.0003% gilded
       155: 0.0048% giles
        15: 0.0005% gill
         5: 0.0002% gilles
        11: 0.0003% gillespie
        						18: 0.0006% gillian
        17: 0.0005% gilligan
        				 4: 0.0001% gills
         4: 0.0001% gilmour
        17: 0.0005% gilt
        36: 0.0011% gilts
         4: 0.0001% gimmick
        						20: 0.0006% gin
         						6: 0.0002% gina
        						20: 0.0006% ginger
        						9: 0.0003% gingerbread
       						12: 0.0004% gingerly
       						3: 0.0001% gingery
         3: 0.0001% ginkgo
         3: 0.0001% ginkgos
         						3: 0.0001% ginny
         						4: 0.0001% giorgio
         						5: 0.0002% giovanni
        						5: 0.0002% gipsy
         4: 0.0001% gird
         3: 0.0001% girdle
       647: 0.0202% girl
        50: 0.0016% girlfriend
         4: 0.0001% girl-friend
         5: 0.0002% girlfriends
         6: 0.0002% girlish
       414: 0.0129% girls
         						5: 0.0002% giro
        						47: 0.0015% gironella ????
        						34: 0.0011% gist
         3: 0.0001% gistutor
         3: 0.0001% gits
         3: 0.0001% gittens
         3: 0.0001% giulio
      1216: 0.0380% give
         3: 0.0001% giveaway
      1505: 0.0470% given
         4: 0.0001% givens
       269: 0.0084% gives
       363: 0.0113% giving
         5: 0.0002% givón
         5: 0.0002% giza

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