from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The loss of one of two identical or similar adjacent syllables in a word, as in Latin nūtrīx, "nurse,” from earlier *nūtrītrīx.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The utterance of only one of two similar adjacent syllables or sounds that appear in the full pronunciation of the word.
While it's acceptable to suggest that Etruscan had some sort of prior syncope before the documented one that occured around 500 BCE, suggesting also that an ablative *-si-si was reduced to -is by way of a convenient one-time case of added haplology seemed to me ad hoc.
As the Grandmaster of the Spoken Word, she was versed in many secret methods of power, including the bildungsroman form of twisting moral identities and the calculated use of haplology and edulcoration.
I'll take that "unsayable" in the sense of ugly, unpleasant, or disagreeable, and the phenomenon therefore as a common haplology.
What we seem to have here, rather, is a haplology or "haplogy," as some linguists can't resist calling it, the process which gave us Latin nutrix in place of the predicted *nutritrix and which leads people to say missippi instead of mississippi.
He's saying that gingerly is, basically and traditionally, an adjective, and the adverbial use results as a haplology of the derived form gingerlyly.
Our language is full of lazy pronunciations - dropping syllables - so that the practice has a name: haplology.
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