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What are the types of assimilation in linguistics?

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Becky Diamond eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Speech is not a series of separate, individual fragments. Therefore, movement of our vocal organs is influenced by the sounds preceding and following the current sound being articulated. Assimilation is the term used to define the process when a sound changes some of its properties to be more similar to those nearby.

There are two types of assimilation: Regressive and progressive.

Regressive, also referred to as “right-to-left” assimilation, refers to when a sound becomes more like a subsequent sound. It is sometimes called anticipatory assimilation, as the changing sound anticipates the following sound in some manner.

Progressive Assimilation, also referred to as “left-to-right” assimilation, is when a sound becomes more like the sound that was just pronounced before it or the one that lingers from the sound just articulated. It is also called perseverative assimilation, as the sound advances, or moves forward, onto the next sound in a word.

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In phonology (linguistics), assimilation...

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