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Thread: silent /p/

  1. #1
    celtaflorida is offline Junior Member
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    Default silent /p/

    Greetings.
    I'd like to know if there is rule for consonant /p/ to be silent as in psoriasis, or psychology. Does it have anything to do with the letter /s/? I would appreciate an explanation.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    Since English is your native language, it shouldn't be such a big problem for you.

  3. #3
    celtaflorida is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    Thanks, but you failed to explain the grammatical rules.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    There are no rules. Most of the words that begin with 'ps' come from Greek, and originally began with the Greek letter psi. This was pronounced roughly like /ps/, an unacceptable combination at the beginning of words in English; so, the /p/ disappeared.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    It's also usually silent in Phnom Penh for the same reason- it's hard to say, though this comes from a different language.

  6. #6
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    It's silent in "Ptolemy" too, for similar reasons.

  7. #7
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    In a way, yes, it has to do with /s/. For instance, clusters like /pl/, /pr/ and /pw/ are permitted. So, p + any approximant other than /j/ is permitted.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: silent /p/

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    For instance, clusters like /pl/, /pr/ and /pw/ are permitted. So, p + any approximant other than /j/ is permitted.
    /p/ can be followed by /j/ - pew, pewter, dispute, etc. I can't at the moment think of any /pw/ combinations in English
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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