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16.16: Sometimes [ch] is Spelled < t >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Sometimes [ch] is Spelled <t>

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:

\begin{align*}& \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}\end{align*}cul\underline{t}ureintellec\underline{t}ualques\underline{t}ionsunfor\underline{t}unatelyna\underline{t}urallysugges\underline{t}ionspiri\underline{t}ualsi\underline{t}uationmor\underline{t}uaryeven\underline{t}ualac\underline{t}uallitera\underline{t}ureindiges\underline{t}ionri\underline{t}ualadven\underline{t}urousvir\underline{t}ueconges\underline{t}ionperpe\underline{t}ualsta\underline{t}ueceles\underline{t}ial

2. Now sort the words into these two groups:

Words in which [ch] is follwed by ...
\begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}<u> \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*}<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]? \begin{align*}\underline{<u>}\end{align*}<u>

3. Most of the time when [ch] is spelled <t>, there is a \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}<u> after the <t>. But often a <t> that spells [ch] is followed by an \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*}<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 \begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*}<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\begin{align*}\cancel{s}\end{align*}s + gest + ion digestion
spirit + ual spiritual
quest + ion + er questioner
act + ual + ly actually
ad + vent + ur\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ous adventurous
script + ur\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + al scriptural
liter + at\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ure literature
virtu\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ous virtuous
co\begin{align*}\cancel{m}\end{align*}m + n + gest + ion congestion
celest + ial celestial
per + pet\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*}e + ual perpetual
su\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*}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 \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}<u> or it is followed by the suffix -ion and has an \begin{align*}<s>\end{align*}<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 \begin{align*}<\mathrm{u}>\end{align*}<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 \begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*}<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:
Jul 07, 2015
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