In English (I haven't really thought too much about English yet), there are tons of what-seem-like one-off patterns.
(the "oo" sound) tool /tul/ two /tu/ to /tu/ through /θɹu/ blue /blu/ queue /ku/ (highly variable) (the "uu" sound) book /bʊk/ look (pretty consistent) (the "eh" sound) bed /bɛd/ spread /sprɛd/ said
Then you things like (i, ai, ae) being the same sounds, or (ie, ee). Etc.
Is there a reasonably small number of these combinations in English? Like, are there rules for all of them, or are there a bunch of exceptions? Like
aardvark. (hour, our) (own, hone, moan), etc.
I ask because I'm looking at different languages and (at least as I am first starting) I am seeing that the sounds and vowel symbols have 1 or perhaps 2 sounds depending on a small amount of context. Either it's a different dialect, or the position of the letter relative to something else (like sound
A for letter
x after a consonant, sound
B after another vowel) (or sound A at the end of a word, sound B everywhere else). It's appearing that no language is as complex as english in the number of sounds per letter sequence, and number of patterns and variations like I started to list above.
Which languages are similar to English in having a largish number of rules for letter sequences and what sound they produce? Are all/any/some/many languages strict with the number of combinations, limiting it to a 1-to-1 mapping? Does it just depend, and there's not a finite set of rules you can map out? Does English have a large number of combinations (in the 1000's +) or is it relatively small (100 or so).
For instance, Japanese and Tibetan and Sanskrit all seem regular in that there is a 1-to-1 mapping from sound(s) to letter(s). I haven't learned too much about each yet though so I'm sure there's edge cases (and it would be interesting to know).