"Onion" and "salsa" possess a similar structure:
both words consist of two identical
2-letter syllables and a distinct letter between them.
Apparently, there are more English words of similar form (12312).
Find as many as you can.
Does "sense" count?
It has the 12312 pattern, but is a single syllable. Both of the given examples are two syllable words -- "syllable" refers to units of sound, not spelling patterns. The phrase "and a distinct letter between them" confuses sound with spelling. The middle letters are parts of surrounding syllables (on/ion, sal/sa). (One does sometimes hear un-e-un -- perhaps UK?).
This seems like a puzzle best left to those who already have a programmed data set of "all" five letter words. May the middle element be a symbol -- e.g. "go-go" ? I think the term Ady wants is "digraph".
Some other monosyllables: shush, verve, yo-yo?
Edited on June 30, 2010, 12:27 pm
Edited on June 30, 2010, 1:15 pm