So our fifth graders have been working with the twin bases <script> and <scribe>. The other day they built the following words:

trans + scribe

trans + script

and by association to their resulting questions....  

trans + spire

So their question is, what happened to the <s>? Most of them created the word sum by marking a line through the <s> in the prefix <trans> since they reasoned the <sc> still surfaces in the base. My understanding is prefixes don't make changes to a base and I'm not aware of any spelling laws regarding <ss> across morpheme boundaries (consider <misspelling>), so what is happening here? 

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