Is there a reason why “gn” in “reigning” is pronounced /n/ while in “regnant” it is pronounced [gn]?

Both reigning and regnant are related to the same Latin noun, regnum.

Why is the ‹gn› spelling pronounced [n] in the first word but [gn] in the second?


My (uneducated) guess would be it has to do with the long vowel sound before the [gn]. It seems to create difficulty to pronounce the [g] sound after a long vowel sound.

Other examples are feign (long), indignity (short), benign (long).

Source : Link , Question Author : user58319 , Answer Author : oerkelens

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