On Thu, 4 Oct 2001, Colin Halverson wrote: > Do any other languages (I am sure there are at least a few) have a silent > letter or especially a silent modifying letter (as in English "ate", the e is > silent and makes the a long)??? Where does this come from?? Do any of ur > conlangs have this?? The silent E in English seems to have been pronounced. In some dialects, such Es still are (Scots seems to keep the whole -ed syllable). The silent Es in English come from a variety of sources, but all seem to be reduced vowels that at one time were fuller (and pronounced, obviously!) Kerno has several silent letters (E and S being two obvious examples), though they work differently than the English E. I.e., silent E doesn't lengthen a preceeding vowel. As a Romance conlang, it is odd in retaining grammatical case. And if you couldn't guess which letter is the case marker, it is -e, and this E is silent in most people's speech. So, we have this situation: S Pl NOM cats chath /kats/ /xaT/ OBL catte chattes /kat/ /xats/ A similar situation in the verbs: S Pl. cantam cantamus /kant@m/ /kantamo/ cantes canz /kants/ /kants/ cantes cantont /kants/ /kantont/ > On a side note, is Welsh a Celtic language, a Germanic language or like > English? or what? Does Welsh or Celtic or Ire (or whatever you call that > Irish language) use the silent e? Welsh and Irish Gaelic are both Celtic languages. English (and Hiberno-English) are Germanic. Gaelic is riddled with its share of silent letters as well. My own name has a silent D (or dotted D, really), for example: Padraic = /porIk/ (or "poor rick" if you don't know IPA). Padraic.