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"A vowel-like sound that acts like a consonant, in that it serves the same function in a syllable carrying the same amount of prominence as a consonant relative to a true vowel, the nucleus of the syllable. In English and many other languages the chief semivowels are (w) in well and (j), represented as y, in yell". Thank you.

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Semivowels form a subclass of approximants.Although "semivowel" and "approximant" are sometimes treated as synonymous, most authors agree that not all approximants are semivowels, although the exact details may vary from author to author. For example, Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996) don't consider the labiodental approximant [ʋ] to be a semivowel, while Martínez-Celdrán (:2004) proposes that it should be considered one.

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in phonetics and phonology , a semivowel is a sound such as English /w/ or /j/, i.e. phonetically similiar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllable boundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable... 

Semivowel , by defination , contrast with vowels by being non-syllabic...

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A sound that has the quality of one of the high vowels and that functions as a consonant before or after vowels, as the initial sounds of yell and well and the final sounds of coy and cow. Also called glide.

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