A s s i m i l a t i o n
As we know assimilation is a part of Joined-up speech, is phonological process by which the phonetics of a speech segment becomes more like that of another segment in a word. A common example of assimilation would be "don't be silly" where the /n/ and /t/ in "don't" are assimilated to /m/ and /p/ by the following /b/, where said naturally in many accents and discourse styles "dombe silly".
In assimilation, the phonological patterning of the language, discourse styles and accent are some of the factors that contribute to changes. If a sound changes with reference to a following segment, it is traditionally called "regressive assimilation", the changes with reference to a preceding segment are traditionally called "progressive". Many find these terms confusing, as they seem to mean the opposite of the intended meaning. Regressive assimilation is also known as right-to-left, leading or anticipatory assimilation. Progressive assimilation is also known as left-to-right or preservative, lagging or lag assimilation.
Direction of assimilation:
Regressive assimilation: this is leftward assimilation; the phone assimilates to a preceding phone.
Progressive assimilation: this is rightward assimilation; the phone assimilation to a following phone
The sound that changes is called the assimilated sound.
The sound that causes the change is called the conditioning sound
Assimilated Sound Conditioning Sound
Let’s see some examples of assimilation in place of articulation to the following consonants:
- / t / changes to / p / before / m / / b / or / p /
- / d / changes to / b / before / m / / b / or / p /
- / n / changes to / m / before / m / / b / or / p /
- / t / changes to / k / before / k / or /g/
- / d / changes to / g / before / k / or / g /
- / n / changes to /ŋ/ before / k / or / g /
- / s / changes to /ʃ/ before /ʃ/ or / j /
- / z / changes to /ʒ/ before /ʃ/ or / j /
- /θ/ changes to / s / before / s /