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Study of the sounds found at the beginning and end of English words has shown that two groups of sounds with quite different patterns of distribution can be identified, and these two groups are those of vowel and consonant.

Could you paraphrase this sentence? I suspect that it would be something like:

Study of the sounds found at the beginning and end of English words has shown that two groups of sounds with quite different patterns of distribution can be identified, and these two groups are the groups of vowels and consonants.

Am I right? I don't understand why the author writes "those of vowel and consonant" instead of "those of vowels and consonants".

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    I think you are right. But there are multiple vowels and consonants, not just one vowel or consonant. Vowels are a set/group.
    – Prof. Hell
    Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 23:37

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There are implied words that are left out. Compare the following.

  • The two groups are those of (the) vowel (group) and (the) consonant (group).

  • The two groups are (the group of) vowels and (the group of) consonants.

So you can either have a group named for the item, or you can have a group made up of several of the items. It should be acceptable to do it either way provided you don't swap mid-sentence.

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  • So there are at least three ways to paraphrase the sentence: 1)"...these two groups are the vowel group and the consonant group." 2)"...these two groups are that of vowels and that of consonants." 3)"...these two groups are the group of vowels and the group of consonants." Is that right?
    – Helium
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 2:15

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