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??

My conlang Obrenje has silent <e>s.  In general, a final -e degenerates
to a schwa.  After voiceless consonants, it becomes voiceless itself.

In regular speech, it's usually totally omitted.  Voiceless schwas are
pronounces as aspiration after voiceless stops. In places where
pronunciation would otherwise be difficult, such as after a consonant
cluster, it is sometimes still audible.

Even if omitted in speech, the -e does influence the syllable structure
of the word, and thus the stressing.  Moreover, it palatizes certain consonants.


zin  /Zi-n/    vs.  zine  /Zi:n/    (i- being barred i)
eto  /"e:tO/   vs.  etoe  /@to:/
mos  /mOs/     vs.  mose  /mo:S/
bet  /bEt/     vs.  bete  /be:t_h/

In the word "Obrenje" itself, the schwa is audible, because <nj> is a
voiced consonant cluster.  Thus: /Obr"[log in to unmask]

These rules are slightly different for the dialect of the province
Casan.  They would pronounce Obrenje as /Ubr"E~j/.

-- Christian Thalmann