起源於今早寫郵件,在寫到「解釋」在單詞的名詞形式的時候,本以為動詞是 explain,則名詞就應該會是 explaination,但是 outlook 不停的幫我 autocorrect 到 explanation,有些費解,於是 google 了一番…


為了名詞形式的解釋沒有 i?皆因英文體系裏的 Prosody – 韻律學,既融合重讀音節與英文拼寫規則的一門學科。

However, when we make these verbs into nouns by adding a suffix like -ation to the end of them, the fact that the words are now nouns means that we put the stress on their penultimate syllables. (Again, penultimate rather than second, third, fourth, so that the rule can be applied no matter how many syllables the noun has).

So we get the following:

  • ex-‘plain -> explan-‘ation
  • in-‘vite -> invit-‘ation
  • author-‘ize -> authoriz-‘ation
  • accumul-‘ate -> accumul-‘ation

This means that for verbs of more than one syllable, the vowel in the syllable that was stressed when the word was a verb is no longer stressed because the word is now a noun.

And in some cases, such as explanation, this is reflected as a change in orthography, ie. how the vowel sound is represented in the written language.

This spelling change doesn’t happen for all verbs, even if the sound of the vowel does change (in fact, that’s why my other three examples aren’t perfect) but “pronounce” is similar – pro-‘nounce becomes pronunci-‘ation because the diphthong in the verb (“ou”) has reverted to a more neutral monophthong (“u”) in the noun.




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