Real Spellers

English Makes Sense!

I thought I understood the basics pretty well, but apparently not. Today I was working with a student and became puzzles while spelling <humanity>. I know that it is

<human + i + ty> with the <i> a connecting vowel.

When working with Michel, he told us to work the word sum toward the base. So,

human + i + ty --> human + ity

Then, <ity> becomes a suffixal construction that (I thought!) we work with as if it is a suffix. So,

human + ity --> humannity?

Since the suffix is now a vowel suffix, there is a single vowel before the single consonant, and the accent in the final word in on <-man->, then we should double, right?

So, apparently, since we obviously do not actually double the <n>, connecting vowels do not work the same way when combining suffixes toward the base. Or am I missing something? Do we think of the connecting vowel as something that is purely added after the base to connect it to the consonant suffix, thereby eliminating any cause for doubling? This is what seems to be the case.

So, I wonder, what if you don't know whether or not it is a connecting vowel? Can we use this to help us determine IF something is a connecting vowel? When most resources in the world use <ity> as a suffix, how do they get around this?

Kris Clark

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Hi Kris,
I was pondering your question about why the <n> in <humanity> is not doubled when adding the vowel suffix <ity> and soon went searching through the 70 Matrices that came with the Tool Box 2 resource. There I found it!! hume+ane+ity-->humanity. Hope this helps!

Ginger Beaton
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