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9.3: Review of Assimilation

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Review of Assimilation

1. When prefixes are added to stems, usually they are simply added to the stem with no changes in spelling: re + paint = repaint and sub + tract = subtract. This process is called simple addition.

But sometimes the last letter of the prefix changes to spell the same sound as the first letter of the stem: sub + pose = su\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + pose = suppose and in + legal = i\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + l + legal = illegal. This process is called full assimilation.

Sometimes the last letter of the prefix changes to spell a sound more similar to, but not entirely the same as, the first sound in the stem: in + possible = i\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + possible = impossible. This process is called partial assimilation.

Both full and partial assimilation make the word easier to say.

2. All of the following words start with some form of one of the following prefixes: ad-, in-\begin{align*}^1\end{align*} “not”, in-\begin{align*}^2\end{align*} “in”, ob-, and sub-. Analyze each word into its prefix and stem. Sometimes the prefix and stem combine through simple addition, and sometimes they combine with either partial or full assimilation. Be sure your analysis shows any assimilation that takes place:

Word = Prefix + Stem
illegal = i\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + l + legal
object =
influence =
subject =
adjective =
assign =
supposed =
illiteracy =
opposite =
immune =
innocent =
immigrant =
immediate =

3. Now try some the other way around. Combine each prefix and stem. In your analysis. Show any assimilation that takes place, as we have done with the first one:

Prefix + stem = Analysis = Word
ad + nex = a\begin{align*}\cancel{d}\end{align*} + n + nex = annex
ad + commodate = =
sub + gest = =
in + literate = =
ob + position = =
in + mortal = =
in + prove = =
ob + struct = =
in + struct = =
sub + mit = =
ad + mitted = =
in + balance = =
ad + dress = =
ad + tenance = =
ob + portunity = =
sub + fering = =

4. Two words that contain full assimilation are _________ and _________.

5. Two words that contain partial assimilation are _________ and _________.

Word History. The bound base mune in immune is closely related to the bound base mon in common. They both mean “duties, office” or “performing duties or services.” To be immune originally meant to be free of responsibility for civic duties. The word commune has the same prefix as common and the same base as immune.

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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jan 16, 2015
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