In my blog posting of the 9th of July I wrote about non-eliding dissimilation.Today I would like to draw your attention to what I call dissimilative addition.
Dissimilation describes the result(s) of avoiding two similar or identical sounds to be in relatively close proximity in the
- We can try to avoid having a second similar sound to appear. Take the plural form <boys>.We write <the boys' clubs association> and regularly pronounce the noun <boys'> as /bɔɪz/. Thus we avoid a second /z/ to appear in close proximity to the first one. There is no dissimilation visible in the surface form of the word. (On the other hand, in <Charles'(s) car> we are free to choose between /ʧɑːlzɪz/ and /ʧɑːlz/.)
- Take the ordinal number 6th, written <sixth> and pronounced as /sɪksθ/, but sometimes also as /sɪkst/. In both pronunciations we have a word-final cluster of three consonants, which is quite a mouthful. In /sɪksθ/ two fricatives abut which are are both voiceless and very similar as regards their place of articulation. To cut corners, some speakers use the form with the final /t/, thus making the two consonants less similar. There are still three consonants, none is elided, so I call it non-eliding dissimilation. (see my blog posting of the 9th of July)
- Some speakers say <Febuary> for <February> or <libary> for <library>. One of the two r-sounds is deleted. This is what Jack Windsor Lewis terms dissimilative elision and what John Maidment calls dissimilatory elision. I already promised to write about this process in a future blog posting.
- And there is another way to avoid having two similar/identical sounds to be too close together: Dissimilative addition.
1. One /kɪs/, two */kɪs s/? No, we must say /kɪsɪz/. Otherwise, two identical sounds would be too close together. So an intervening sound is inserted. The same dissimilative process can be demonstrated with the genitival form <kiss'> and the 3rd person singular as in <he kisses>.
2. I /weɪt/, but I /weɪtɪd/. Again a sound is added to push two similar sounds apart.
3. As we all know, there are two variants of the indefinite article; one of them is used with a noun beginning with a consonant, the other one is placed before a noun with a vocalic onset. Thus we get <a cuckoo> and <an owl>.
|credit: Nina Valetova|
|title: Assimilation and Dissimilation|