Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This person was logically, but incorrectly, adopting the "i" sound from "sufficient" which shares a root and meaning. The consonant sound in that second syllable is also quite different between the two words (having the c more like a z than an sh).
Why is this?
Other similarly puzzling questions:
- Why A is pronounced differently in "opacity" and "opaque"
- Why are the first syllables of “nature” and “natural” pronounced differently?
- Why are "nation" and "national" pronounced differently?
- Why are "look" and "school" pronounced differently?
- Why are Kansas and Arkansas pronounced differently?
I suspect Trisyllabic laxing might answer part of the question, but I don't think that explains it all.