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Bulletin board

big list of silent a a..a words

In unstressed syllables the letter <a> sometimes goes silent when preceded by a <t> or <d> and follwed by a word-final <nt> or <n>: blatant, combatant, important, mutant, natant, pedant, pollutant, puritan, retardant, verdant. It also sometimes goes silent in unstressed syllables when it is preceded by <t> and followed by a word-final <al>: capital, continental, fatal, fundamental, hospital, mental, metal, mortal, natal, oriental, scandal, total, vital. What happens here is that the unstressed <a> loses all of its vowel coloring and the following <n> or <l> serves as a syllabic consonant – that is, a consonant that can serve as the peak of a syllable.

There are some other miscellaneous cases of silent <a>, again in unstressed syllables: carriage, extraordinary, marriage, pharaoh, Vaughan and in one pronunciation of diamond.

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