Boring discussion about language to follow, but...
well, here it is.
There are some words in Catalan that have silent letters that explain about the pronunciation of the letters that follow. Two that come to mind are setmana and atmella, week and almond respectively. The 't' in each case means that the sound of the following 'm' is lengthened like a double letter.
Where it gets interesting is that the older people here, who never learned to read or write Catalan, or only learned as adults, pronounce it correctly - though many cannot spell it. The younger generation, who are learning the language with written as well as oral information are actually pronouncing it incorrectly and are saying the 't' and not lengthening the following 'm'.
I find it fascinating that in spite of a surrounding culture of pronunciation, they are following the written - and incorrectly understood - orthographic rules rather than the community at large, and there are many cases of this.
Are the younger speakers trying to 'correct' the language? I think not, because they all make some GLARING grammatical errors that are so predominant they are likely to become the norm in a generations time.....are they trying to sound more educated? Why is it that they are ignoring the common rules? Is it that many of them don't speak Catalan at home and so they pronounce it more phonetically and there is such a large number of native Spanish speakers making the same error that it is entering the lingua franca on the playground and therefore into the community at large it a way...
I will have to ask a Catalan scholar. I know a few.
It happens less in English I think for two reasons, first of all, it has been a predominantly literate community for a very long time, so the oddities of the written language have less impact. Also English is so very full of these weirdnesses, such as the unspoken 'k' at the front of know and knife, that it has little impact....that said I bet we all know people who pronounce the 'w' in sword.
I keep finding myself pondering the implications of all this...