phonetics, apheresis ( or / / ; / / British English: aphaeresis; from Greek apo away, hairein to take) is the loss of one or more sounds from the beginning of a word, especially the loss of an unstressed vowel.
Apheresis as a historical sound change [ edit ]
In historical phonetics, the term "apheresis" is often but not always limited to the loss of an unstressed vowel. (The Oxford English Dictionary gives this particular kind of apheresis the name
Loss of any sound [ edit ]
Loss of an unstressed vowel [ edit ]
Greek epískopos > Vulgar Latin * ebiscopus > Old English bisceop ‘bishop’ English
[a]cute > cute
Middle English Egipcien > gipcyan, gipsen ‘Gypsy’ [1 ] English
[a]mend > mend English
[e]scape + goat > scapegoat [2 ]
Old French e(s)vanisse > Middle English vanisshen ‘vanish’ Old French
estable > English stable Old French
estrange > English strange English
esquire > squire
Greek Assyria > Syria
Aphaeresis as a poetic device [ edit ]
it is > poetic ’tis English
upon > ’pon
Aphaeresis in informal speech [ edit ]
está > stá or tá[?] (" is" and " yes/ok./, ins't?/, aren't?" for the second contracted form) English oath
God's truth > Familiar Australian English exclamation strewth English
America > 'murica
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Online Etymology Dictionary, Gypsy. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
^ Online Etymology Dictionary, Scapegoat. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
Bibliography [ edit ]
Crowley, Terry. (1997)
An Introduction to Historical Linguistics. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press.