Talk:Apheresis (linguistics)

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Apheresis vs. Shortening, Blending[edit]

  1. bus from omnibus
  2. cello from violoncello
  3. blog from web log

"Omnibus" to "bus" and "violoncello" to "cello" are 4+ sounds. I would quantify these phenomena as shortening, rather than simple apheresis. "Web log" to "blog", I would specify as apheresis of /wɛb/ to /b/, and then blending of /b/ and /lɑg/ to /blɑg/. Anyone agree? Hotchy 04:54, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

My examples of phone from telephone and plane from aeroplane are similarly shorteneings, not pure aphesis. Carcharoth 17:08, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. These are usually considered clipping or ellision. (It would be nice if linguistic terminology were a little more stable, but it isn't.) I would say the same applies to lone from alone, since it's apparent that the real historical event there is metanalysis, that is moving the morpheme boundary from all-one to a-lone (parallel to alive, aloft, afoot, abroad and so on where the a- is in fact a prefix (or what is left of a prefix, actually several different prefixes)). I would take plane to be just like lab except for starting at the other end.
An interesting example of phonologically regular aphaeresis is the treatment of the (Latin) prefix dis- in Italian: smorzare 'to tone down', smuovere 'displace', snaturato 'unnatural', sleale 'disloyal', sfavorire 'to treat unfairly' (often with doublets in actual dis-, as dislaeale with the same meaning as sleale). Alsihler 19:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Danish/Swedish/Norwegian automobil > bil[edit]

Danish/Swedish/Norwegian automobil > bil is hardly an example of aphesis. It is a conscious neologism made by clipping. Neither is it informal. It's just the usual word for '(motor)car'. It has even been borrowed into Icelandic as bíll. --BPJ 13:42, 10 October 2007 (UTC)


In all my years upon this planet, I've never before heard of this particular etymology. I'm not saying it's false—I have no idea either way. This needs a more specific citation, because as it stands, it's practically unverifiable. Same for the others, too. dlainhart (talk) 04:56, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Assyria ≠ Syria[edit]

The English name Assyria ultimately derives from the people called Ashur (in Mesopotamia).

The English name Syria ultimately derives from the city, called Tyre (in Lebanon).

They sound similar but are completely unrelated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:30A:C04D:5F0:8D4:FEF5:CCD7:7E42 (talk) 01:36, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


ISTR reading somewhere that "school" developed from an O.F. word "Escole" in this way, but I can find no reference. Anyone know? Grutness...wha? 01:01, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but escole developed from Latin schola via prothesis, so it's possible the English word was influenced by the Latin original. A better example would be Latin Hispania > Old French Espaigne (or something) > English Spain or Latin historia > O.F. estorie > English story. However, even here there are apheretic variants Spania and storia in Late Latin (cf. modern Italian Spagna and storia), so maybe it's clearer to use Late Latin rather than English as a clear example of apheresis. +Angr 05:37, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Phonetics...? or →Phonology?[edit]

Like most any phonological process, apheresis can't really be adequately described without reference to phonetics. But it is a phonological process (even when attributable to phonotactics rather than to a productive phonological rule). →So why say "In phonetics, ..." in the lede? (See Phonetics#Relation to phonology.)--IfYouDoIfYouDon't (talk) 08:03, 14 January 2015 (UTC)