14

In early Middle English, people used an before all words, whether they started with a consonant or vowel. They started dropping the /n/ before consonants, but the /n/ was retained before /h/ longer than it was retained before other consonants. Shakespeare seems to use "a" before almost all one-syllable words starting with "h" except ones where the "h" wasn'...


6

This is not unique to the pronunciation of autophagy There is no principle saying that the pronunciation of a word must always divide it into parts that correspond to its etymological components. That's just the way compounds formed in English from English words (like paperhanger) tend to be pronounced. But not all compounds are formed in English from ...


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