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Sound change and alternation
Not to be confused with Hoplology.

Haplology (from Greek ἁπλός haplos "simple" and λόγος logos, "speech") is defined as the elimination of a syllable when two consecutive identical or similar syllables occur. The phenomenon was identified by American philologist Maurice Bloomfield in the 20th century.[1] Linguists sometimes jokingly refer to the phenomenon as "haplogy" (subjecting the word haplology to haplology).[citation needed] As a general rule haplology occurs in English adverbs of adjectives ending in "le", for example gentlely > gently.


  • Basque: sagarrardo > sagardo ('apple cider')
  • Dutch: narcissisme > narcisme ('narcissism')
  • English:
    • Engla land > England [1]
    • morphophonology > morphonology[2]
    • coercitive (obsolete spelling) > coercive[3]
    • mono nomial > monomial
    • Colloquial (non-standard spellings signalled by *):
      • library (RP: /ˈlaɪbrərɪ/) > *libry /ˈlaɪbrɪ/
      • particularly > *particuly
      • probably > *probly
      • February > *Febury, *Febuary
      • representative > * representive
      • authoritative > * authoritive
  • Latin: nutritrix > nutrix 'nurse'
  • Biological Latin:
  • Homeric Greek: amphiphoreus > amphoreus 'two-handled pitcher' [5]
  • Classical Arabic: تتقاتلون tataqātalūna > تقاتلون taqātalūna 'you are fighting each other' [6]
  • Spanish: impudicicia > impudicia 'lack of honesty' (both words are widely accepted)[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 6, 2008". Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  2. ^ Trubetskoy, N.S. (1969). "Appendix II: Thoughts on Morphonology". In Baltaxe (transl.), Christiane A. M. Principles of Phonology. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 305. ISBN 0-520-01535-5. By morphonology or morphophonology we understand, as is well known, the study of the utilization in morphology of the phonological means of language.  Translated from the German (Grundzüge der Phonologie, Prague, 1939).
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (online version ed.). November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Mammal Species of the World - Browse: Nycteridae". bucknell.edu. 
  5. ^ Hock, Hans Henrich (1986). "Sound change: Dissimilation, haplology, metathesis". Principles of Historical Linguistics. De Gruyter. p. 109. ISBN 3-11-010600-0. 
  6. ^ Kaye, Alan (1987). "Arabic". In Bernard Comrie. The World's Major Languages. Oxford University Press. p. 567. ISBN 0-19-520521-9. 
  7. ^ "DRAE entry for 'impudicicia'". Diccionario de la Lengua Española Vigésima segunda edición. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 


  • Crowley, Terry. (1997) An Introduction to Historical Linguistics. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press.