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Hi there,

I was wondering about the following matter:

Why do we use the indef. art. a -> /ə/ before words that start with a consonant sound?
And why do we use the indef. art. an ->/ən/ before words that start with a vowel sound?

The same with the definite article – pronounced like /ðə/ and /ði/

Does someone know if there's a phonetic/phonological or any other reason forthis phenomenon?

I've searched through a whole lot of literature to find out about this, but so far I haven't found anything yet.

Thank you for your reply/replies.

Jordy
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Hi,

I agree.

It's easy for me to say 'an egg'.

It's harder for me to say 'a egg'.

Clive
Comments  
I'm guessing here, but I think it is simply because pronouncing two consecutive vowel sounds is a bit of a tongue twister and disrupts the flow.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.