Finnish has thirteen core consonants and several borrowed consonants.
Finnish has thirteen core consonants:
Finnish has several borrowed consonants:
|c||[seː], [k]||CD-ROM, costaricalainen||CD-ROM, Costa Rican|
Consonant gradation effects three letters in Finnish: k, p, t:
|kk||k||-, v, j|
A case takes either strong or weak consonant gradation. As you learn each case, learn the consonant gradation rule for each. A recommendable resource for Finnish grammar is Finnish A Comprehensive Grammar, which is essentially the same as Finnish: An Essential Grammar.
In grammar references, the term neutral is not used. I use it here as a placeholder for the regular ol’ letter.
There is a more thorough (and much more complicated) explanation on Wikipedia about Finnish consonant gradation.
Finnish consonants (konsonantit) are either short or long:
If the length of a short (or single) consonant is K, the length of a long (or double) consonant is K * 2. For example, the letter k in the word black is pronounced [k], and the double k sound in black cat is pronounced [kː].
The letter l in the word tuuli (wind) is pronounced [l], and the double l in tulli (customs—at a border crossing) is pronounced [lː].
The distinction between short and long sounds is important. It can mean the difference between saying tapaamme (we meet) or tappaamme (we kill).