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Why is saki in japanese written as さつき? there's other times I've seen the tsu in words without being pronounced. Why is this?

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Related question: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/751/91 – Andrew Grimm Jan 8 '14 at 7:17

You're probably be confusing つ and っ. In other words, it's not さつき you're seeing, but さっき.

The small っ is not, however, silent: it creates a slight pause between さ and き, meaning words like さっき and さき, or 活気 (かっき) and 下記 (かき) are not homophones.

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Additional reading for any interested: ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BF%83%E9%9F%B3 – ssb Jan 7 '14 at 1:07
@ssb That's a helpful link, but I don't think someone who's unfamiliar with small will be able to read it. – snailplane Jan 7 '14 at 1:10
True, which is a dilemma I often face in these situations: post links/info that are only relevant to the asker's level, or post any miscellaneous info that might be helpful regardless? Nevertheless there is an English version for sokuon apparently! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokuon – ssb Jan 7 '14 at 1:13
"a slight pause", is this a common way to describe gemination? I'm not saying it's a bad way (although it's a bit imprecise), I just hadn't seen it before – dainichi Jan 7 '14 at 4:43
@Tim A stop is when you use some part of the body such as the lips to obstruct air, stopping sound entirely, as in /k/ or /t/, but not as in /s/ or /n/. For example, あか and あっか both have stops, but あさ and あっさ do not. Japanese geminates which do have stops do not have glottal stops, because the airflow is stopped somewhere else besides the glottis. – snailplane Jan 7 '14 at 10:39

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