Assimilation is a process of alternation of speech

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Assimilation is a process of alternation of speech sounds as a result of which one of the sounds becomes fully or partially similar to the adjoining one.The influence of the neighbouring sounds in English can act in progressive, regressive or reciprocal (double, mutual) direction. 1. When some articulatory features of the following sound are changed under the influence of the preceding sound, which remains unchanged, assimilation is called progressive. e.g. The pronunciation of the plural suffix –s of nouns depends on the quality of a preceding consonant: it is pronounced as [z] after voiced consonants (pens [penz], calls [kO:lz]) and as [s] after voiceless consonants (desks [desks], books [bVks]) Within the words sandwich, grandmother, etc under the influence of [n] the consonant [d] changed into [n] and then disappeared (sandwich ['sxnnwIdZ →'sxnwIdZ])2. When the following sounds influences the articulation of the preceding one assimilation is called regressive. e.g. Within the word width and in the word combination in them , the alveolar [d] and [n] become dental before the interdental [T] and [D]. 3. Reciprocal (mutual, double) assimilation means complex mutual influence of the adjacent sounds. e.g. Within the word tree [tri:] the sonorant [r] is partly devoiced under the influence of the voiceless [t] and the alveolar [t] becomes [post-alveolar before the post-alveolar [r]. Assimilation can affect the place of obstruction and the active organ of speech; the work of the vocal cords; the position of the lips; the position of the soft palate; the manner of the release of plosive consonants.
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45. When does assimilation affect the point of articulation? Give examples. Assimilation may affect all the features of the articulation of a consonant or only some of them. Thus we speak of: 1 assimilation affecting (a) the point of articulation, (b) both the point of articu- lation and the active organ of speech; 2 assimilation affecting the manner of the production of noise; 3 assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cords; 4 assimilation affecting the position of the soft palate.
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  • Fall '19
  • Phonation, Vowel, International Phonetic Alphabet, Stop consonant, Consonant

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