CONTENTCONTENT1. Definition2. Types2.1. The direction of changes2.2. The way phoneme changes3. Exercises
1. Definition● In linguistics, assimilation is a common phonologicalprocess by which one sound becomes more like a nearbysound.Or more easily, assimilation is when two sounds cometogether and change or melt into a new sound.● It can occur either within a word or between words when thefinal sound of a word touches the first sound of the next word(because when we speak we join all the words together)● It varies in extent according to speaking rate and style, morefound in rapid, casual speech and less likely in slow, carefulspeech.● General speaking, the cases that have most often beendescribed are assimilations affecting consonants.
ExamplesWords Transcription After assimilationhand bag /hænd bæg/ /hæm bæg/want to /w nɔ t tu:/ /w n nə/ɔfive pence /faiv pens/ /faif pens/that girl /ðæt g l/ɜː /ðæk g l/ɜː
⇒As in these examples, sound segments typically assimilate to afollowing sound or to a preceding one.~> One reason for the assimilatory processes is that severalarticulators are involved in making a speech sound, and that they arenot capable of moving instantaneously.An easy process to observe is the position of the lips.
2. Types2.1. The direction of changesThe diagram below describes the case where 2 words are combined· · · · ·Cf |Ci· · · · ·wordboundary-Cf: the first of which ends with a single final consonant-Ci: the second of which starts with a single initial consonant●Regressive: the phoneme that comes first is affected by the one thatcomes after it.Ciaffects to CfEx: good bye: /gud bai/ → /gubbai/● Progressive: the phoneme that follows is affected by the one thatcomes before it.Cfaffects to CiEx: read this: /ri:d ðis/ → /ri:ddis/
2.2. The way phoneme changes2.2. The way phonemechangesThe wayphonemechangesAssimilationof placeAssimilationof mannerAssimilationof voicingThe wayphonemechangesAssimilationof placeAssimilationof mannerAssimilationof voice
Notes:-/s/ stands before /ʃ/ and /j/ → / /ʃEx: nice shoe /nais ʃu:/ → /nai u:/ʃ ʃ-/z/ stands before /ʃ/ and /j/ →/Ʒ/Ex: those years /ðəuz jiəz/ → /ðəu Ʒjiəz/
2.2.2. ASSIMILATION OF MANNER● Assimilation of manner is typical of the most rapid and casual speech, in whichcase one sound changes the manner of its articulation to become similar inmanner to a neighbouring sound.● Rules-plosive+final plosive → fricative when it stands before a fricativeEx: good song /gud s ηͻ / → /gus s ηͻ /+plosive → nasal when it stands before a nasalEx: good night /gud nait/ → /gun nait/that night /ðæt nait/ → / ðæn nait/>However, most unlikely that a final fricative or nasal would become aplosive.-dentalized: when a word initial /ð/ follows a plosive or nasal at the end of apreceding word, it is very common to find that the Cibecomes identical inmanner to the Cfbutwith the dental place of articulation.Ex: in the /in ðə/ → /in n ə/̪ ̪get them /get ðəm/ → /get təm/̪ ̪
2.2.3. ASSIMILATION OF VOICEThis may refer to assimilation involving the feature [+/- voice]. In a certainenvironment we can consequently observe the voicing or devoicing of asegment. If Cfis voiced and Ciis voiceless, the voiced consonant often has no voicing.voiced + voiceless → voiceless (regressive)(b,d,g) (p,t,k) => b,d,g → p,t,k- b + p → p e.g: rob Peter /rͻb pi:tə/ → /rͻp pi:tə/- d + t → t e.g: bad tongue /bæd tʌη/ → /bat tʌη/- g + k → k e.g: big car /big ka:/ → /bik ka:/ When Cfisvoiceless and Ciis voiced, a context in which in many languages,Cfwould become “voiced”, assimilation of voice never takes place.voiceless (A) + voiced → no assimilation (A0)E.g: sit down /sit0daun/black dog /blæk0dͻg/
3. ExercisesExercise 1:What is the pronunciation of these words after assimilation?1. Should winA. /∫ubwin/ B. /∫udwin/ C. /∫utwin/ D. /∫upwin/2.Bad gateA. /bækgeit/ B. /bædgeit/ C. /bægeit/ D. /bætgeit/3. This shopA. /ðis∫ p/ B. /ði∫∫ p/ C. /ði∫ p/ D. /ðiɔ ɔ ɔ t∫ p/ɔ4. seen BillA. /si:bil/ B. /si:nbil/ C. /si:mbil/ D. /si:ɳbil/
* Answer1, A. /∫ubwin//d/ → /b/ when it stands before bilabial consonant /w/2, A. /bækgeit//d/ → /g/ when it stands before /k/ and /g/3, B. /ði∫∫ p/ɔ/s/ → /∫/ when it stands before /∫/ and /j/4, C. /si:mbil//n/ → /m/ if it stands before bilabial /b/
Exercise 2Find out the rules of assimilatlion in thesesentences1.He’s a rather fat boy.2.He is a very good boy.3.There are ten men in the class.4.Can you see that girl over there?
Answer 1.He’s a rather fat boy./fæt b i/ → /fæɔ pb i/ɔBecause of the rule /t/ stands before bilabial consonants/b,p,m,w/ → /p/ 2.He is a very good boy./gud b i/ → /guɔ bb i/ɔBecause of the rule /d/ stands before bilabial consonants/b,p,m,w/ → /b/ 3.There are ten men in the class./ten mæn/ → /temmæn/Because of the rule /n/ stands before bilabial consonants/b,p,m,w/ → /m/ 4.Can you see that girl over there?/ðæt gə:l/ → /ðækgə:l/Because of the rule /t/ stands before velar consonants/k, g/ → /k/