Why is it ‘speaking’/’speech’ instead of ‘speeking’/’speech’ or ‘speaking’/’speach’?

Why is it speaking/speech instead of speeking/speech or speaking/speach?


The spelling history of speech from the OED:

α. OE–ME spræc, sprec, ME sprace, spræche.

β. OE spæc, spec, ME spece, ME spæche ( spache, spiche), ME–15 speche (ME spieche), ME–15 spech, 15– speech, 15–16 speach, speache; Sc.15 speitche, 15–16 speiche.

The spelling history of speak from the OED:

α. OE sprecan, spreocan, spræcan; north. spreca, spræca, -spreaca; sprecca, spræcca; ME sprecon.

β. OE specan (ME -on), OE–ME specen, ME speken (ME Orm. spekenn), ME spekyn; OE–ME spæcon, ME -en, ME spæ(c)ken; ME speoken.

γ. ME–15 speke, ME–15 spek, ME spec, speck, ME speike, 15–16 speake, 15–17 Sc. speik, 15– speak (Irish 17–18 spake).

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