22. The a-vowels

The a-vowels are the prevailing vowel-sounds of the language, being about twice as frequent as all the others (including diphthongs) taken together. The i-vowels, again, are about twice as numerous as the u-vowels. And, in each pair, the short vowel is more than twice (2½ to 3 times) as common as the long.

a. For more precise estimates of frequency, of these and of the other alphabetic elements, and for the way in which they were obtained, see below, 75.