I'm working with a student to investigate words with the grapheme <kn>. In our quest we came across the word <acknowledge> and we're having trouble writing a word sum. Here are our guesses:

 

acknowledge -> ac+know+ledge

and....

acknowledge -> a+c+know+ledge

 

Here's some insight from etymonline:

 

acknowledge (v.) Look up acknowledge at Dictionary.com
1550s, a blend of Middle English aknow (from Old English oncnawan "understand," from on + cnawan "recognize;" see know) and Middle English knowlechen"admit, acknowledge" (c.1200; see knowledge). In the merger, a parasitic -c- slipped in, so that while the kn- became a simple "n" sound (as in know), the -c-stepped up to preserve, in this word, the ancient "kn-" sound. Related: Acknowledgedacknowledging.

 

And another entry from the OED:

Etymology:  < ac-(in acknow v.) + knowledge n. Compare earlier acknowledge v.

 

We're having trouble explaining the <c>. The OED has the <c> as part or a prefix, unless I'm reading that incorrectly and Etymonline lists it as a "parasitic" <c>. I don't know enough to say that the <ac> string is a prefix, but I was wondering if somebody could help me and my student come up with a sound word sum? 

Thanks!

 

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