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13.6: Full and Partial Assimilation

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Full and Partial Assimilation

1. When the consonant sound and letter at the end of the prefix change to be exactly the same as the sound and letter at the beginning of the stem, the process is called full assimilation. In many words the consonant sound and letter in the prefix change enough to be more similar to the sound and letter at the beginning of the stem but not exactly like it. This process is called partial assimilation. For instance, com + crete = co\begin{align*}\cancel{m}\end{align*} + n + crete = concrete. Like full assimilation, partial assimilation makes the word easier to pronounce.

2. All of the following words contain the prefix com-. Sometimes the prefix and stem combined by simple addition, sometimes by full assimilation, sometimes by partial assimilation. Analyze each one to show the process involved when the prefix and stem combined:

Word Prefix + Stem
college co\begin{align*}\cancel{m}\end{align*} + l + lege
conscious
commentary
congress
collapsed
confession
correctly
contracts
companion
correspondent
community
condemned
complexion
conscience
commission
conventional
consistent
committee
compelling
collected

2. The following words contain some special cases of partial assimilation. Analyze each one as best you can and be ready to talk about why you think these words are spelled the way they are:

Acquaintance, acquire, acquiesce, and acquit contain a partially assimilated form of the prefix ad- and stems that star with <qu>. Analyze them:

Word Prefix + Stem
acquaintance
acquire
acquiesce
acquit

3. Ecstasy contains a partially assimilated form of the prefix ex- and a stem that starts with \begin{align*}<\text{s}>\end{align*}:

Word Prefix + Stem
ecstasy

4. When the last consonant in a prefixes changes to be exactly like the first consonant in the stem, the process is called ________. When the last consonant in a prefix changes to be more like, but not exactly like, the first consonant in the stem, the process is called ________.

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