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16.16: Sometimes [ch] is Spelled < t >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

1. About two-thirds of the time [ch] is spelled either <ch> or <tch>, and we can practically always tell when to pick <ch> and when to pick <tch>. About one-third of the time [ch] is spelled <t>. This <t> spelling is very much like the <t> spelling of [sh] and the <d> spelling of [j] with which you have already worked. It, too, is due to palatalization. Underline the letters that spell [ch] in the following words:

& \text{cul\underline{t}ure} && \text{sugges\underline{t}ion} && \text{ac\underline{t}ual} && \text{vir\underline{t}ue}\\& \text{intellec\underline{t}ual} && \text{spiri\underline{t}ual} && \text{litera\underline{t}ure} && \text{conges\underline{t}ion}\\& \text{ques\underline{t}ions} && \text{si\underline{t}uation} && \text{indiges\underline{t}ion} && \text{perpe\underline{t}ual}\\& \text{unfor\underline{t}unately} && \text{mor\underline{t}uary} && \text{ri\underline{t}ual} && \text{sta\underline{t}ue}\\& \text{na\underline{t}urally} && \text{even\underline{t}ual} && \text{adven\underline{t}urous} && \text{celes\underline{t}ial}

2. Now sort the words into these two groups:

Words in which [ch] is follwed by ...
<\mathrm{u}> <\mathrm{i}>
culture situation ritual questions
intellectual mortuary adventurous suggestion
unfortunately eventful virtue indigestion
naurally actual perpetual congestion
spiritual literature statue celestial

2. In these words, which vowel is stressed: the one in front of the [ch] or the one after it? The one in front of it What letter usually follows the <t> that spells [ch]? \underline{<u>}

3. Most of the time when [ch] is spelled <t>, there is a <\mathrm{u}> after the <t>. But often a <t> that spells [ch] is followed by an <\mathrm{i}>. In earlier lessons you saw that a <t> right in front of two unstressed vowels spells the sound [sh], as in deletion and spatial. However, when the <t> has an <\mathrm{s}> right in front of it, the <t> doesn't spell [sh]; it spells [ch], as in question and celestial. This is another case of a smaller, stronger pattern inside a larger pattern.

4. Below you are given prefixes, bases, and suffixes to combine. In each case you should produce a word that contains [ch] spelled <t> due to palatalization. Show any changes:

Prefixes, Bases, and Suffixes Words with [ch] Spelled <t>
di\cancel{s} + gest + ion digestion
spirit + ual spiritual
quest + ion + er questioner
act + ual + ly actually
ad + vent + ur\cancel{e} + ous adventurous
script + ur\cancel{e} + al scriptural
liter + at\cancel{e} + ure literature
virtu\cancel{e} + ous virtuous
co\cancel{m} + n + gest + ion congestion
celest + ial celestial
per + pet\cancel{e} + ual perpetual
su\cancel{b} + g + gest + ion + s suggestions

You can see that very nearly all the time when [ch] is spelled <t>, the <t> is either followed by an unstressed <\mathrm{u}> or it is followed by the suffix -ion and has an <s> right in front of it.

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. This is the last palatalized spelling with which we will be working. Again the trigger is an old [y]-like glide before the <\mathrm{u}> sound that forced the pronunciation of the [t] back against the palate, thus changing it to [ch]. In the few cases like question and celestial, the <\mathrm{i}>, which used to be pronounced as a separate sound, eased to a [y] glide and triggered the palatalization.

It is important for the students to see that pattern of a stressed vowel in front of the [ch] and the unstressed vowel(s) after it.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Jan 27, 2015
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