Why do so many words that start with "S" in English begin with "Es" in Spanish (e.g., EspaƱa, Esteban)?

Answer (1 of 4): Phonotactics. Each language has rules for where the basic sounds can be used. The main purpose of phonotactics in a language is to make it easier for a listener to tell where one word ends and the next word begins. A novelty song Mairzy Doats picks words that bend the English ph...