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12.12: Lesson Thirty-six

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The Prefix Dis- and Assimilation

1. The prefix dis- has many meanings, some of which are hard to see in some of the words in which it occurs. But usually dis- has a negative meaning - such as “not” or “reversal” - as in like vs. dislike, or appear vs. disappear. Usually dis- combines with its stem through simple addition. Sometimes if the stem starts with <f>, dis- assimilates to dif-: dis+fer = di\cancel{s}+ f + fer = differ. But in some stems that start with <f> the <\text{s}> in dis-does not assimilate: dis+favor = disfavor. And in some words the dis- assimilates partially, to di-: dis + gest = di\cancel{s}+gest = digest.

Analyze each of the following words into prefix and stem. In some words the prefix and stem combine by simple addition. In some the dis- has assimilated fully to dif-, and in some it has assimilated partially to di-. Be sure to show any assimilations that take place:

Word = Prefix + Stem
digestion = +
director = +
disrupting = +
dimension = +
disclosing = +
dismounted = +
diseases = +
division = +
directions = +
dividing = +

2. Each of the following four dis- words has the same base as the three words in the right-hand column. Analyze each dis- word into its prefix and stem, showing any assimilation:

Word = Prefix + Stem Related Words
districts = + restrict, constrictor, strictly
distant = + constant, instant, substantial
distracted = + attraction, subtract, tractor
distresses = + unstressful, overstressed, stressing

What are the four bases with which you just worked?

3. Combine the following elements to make new words. In the “Any assimilation?” column indicate whether or not any prefixes assimilated when the elements combined to form the word:

Elements = Word Any assimilation?
com + tract + or + s = contractors Yes
un + ad + tract + ive + ly =
un + dis + rect + ed =
dis + in + fect + ant =
dis + re + spect + ful + ly =
in + dis + gest + ible =
abs + tract + ly =
dis + tract + ions =
un + re + strict + ed =
in + sub + stant + ial =
dis + vise + ible =
dis + close + ing =

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Feb 23, 2012

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Apr 29, 2014
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