from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act or process of making or becoming dissimilar.
- n. Linguistics The process by which one of two similar or identical sounds in a word becomes less like the other, such as the l in English marble (from French marbre).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The act of dissimilating, of making dissimilar.
- n. A phenomenon whereby similar consonant or vowel sounds in a word become less similar, resulting in a form that is easier for the listener to perceive.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of making dissimilar.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act or process of rendering dissimilar or different.
- n. Specifically— In philology, the change or substitution or a sound to or for another and a different sound when otherwise two similar sounds would come together or very close to each other, as in Latin alienus for aliinus, Italian pelegrino from Latin peregrinus, English number (= German nummer) from Latin numerus, etc.
- n. In biology, catabolism (which see): opposed to assimilation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a linguistic process by which one of two similar sounds in a word becomes less like the other
- n. breakdown in living organisms of more complex substances into simpler ones together with release of energy
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It may be called dissimilation of a sort but this hardly explains it in itself.
This process is called dissimilation, essentially getting rid of the similar parts.
It's not enough just to use 'dissimilation' without a clear description of the process firmly grounded in phonetics and acoustics.
To call this process 'dissimilation' requires you to first describe in scientific terms what the originally common feature might have been between dental plosives and high vowels, otherwise it cannot be classified as dissimilatory in nature.
By "dissimilation" I was naturally referring to the IE change, not the Japanese to clarify, I thought you might have had an argument for the lost vowel to have been a close one.
Like Martin I too thought the different behaviour of your examples ‘hospital’ ‘orbital’ and ‘digital’ might be due to dissimilation, but the parallel with Italian ospedale vs orbitale and digitale, made me think it might be more likely to be because ‘hospital’ is of greater antiquity and familiarity than the other two, at least in their current main senses.
The initial *g was then lost due to dissimilation.
This is a great find and dissimilation on the Plein air to refined technique.
As a mechanism it isn't without problems, I admit: typically (in the examples I've seen, anyway) dissimilation leads to the substitution of another phoneme, not to the insertion of one (or the introduction of a new allophone).
This phenomenon is called “dissimilation” and a websearch on that term, “R-deletion” or both will turn up enough hits to give you a pretty good idea of the explanation.
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