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# 9.3: Review of Assimilation

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## 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 = sub\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + pose = suppose and in + legal = in\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 = in\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-1\begin{align*}^1\end{align*} “not”, in-2\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 = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + l + legal
object = ob + ject
influence = in + fluence
subject = sub + ject
assign = ad\begin{align*}\cancel{d}\end{align*} + s + sign
supposed = sub\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + posed
illiteracy = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + l + literacy
opposite = ob\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + posite
immune = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + mune
innocent = in + nocent
immigrant = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + migrant
immediate = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + mediate

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 = ad\begin{align*}\cancel{d}\end{align*} + n + nex = annex
ad + commodate = ad\begin{align*}\cancel{d}\end{align*} + c + commodate = accommodate
sub + gest = sub\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + g + gest = suggest
in + literate = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + l + literate = illiterate
ob + position = ob\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + position = opposition
in + mortal = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + mortal = immortal
in + prove = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + prove = improve
ob + struct = ob + struct = obstruct
in + struct = in + struct = instruct
sub + mit = sub + mit = submit
in + balance = in\begin{align*}\cancel{n}\end{align*} + m + balance = imbalance
ad + tendance = ad\begin{align*}\cancel{d}\end{align*} + t + tendance = attendance
ob + portunity = ob\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + p + portunity = opportunity
sub + fering = sub\begin{align*}\cancel{b}\end{align*} + f + fering = suffering

4. Two words that contain full assimilation are Answers will vary and_________.

5. Two words that contain partial assimilation are Answers will vary 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.

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. Assimilation is introduced in Book 4, Lesson 12. The distinction between full and partial assimilation is introduced in Book 4, Lesson 36.

Item 3. The word balance is a good example of how the separate elements in old words can change and grow together into one: Balance comes ultimately from Latin bilancia, which referred to a measuring device with two ( bi-) shallow pans or plates (lancia). The <i>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{i}>\end{align*} changed to <a>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{a}>\end{align*} in French, and <lance> does not appear anywhere else in English with the sense of pans or plates. So it seems better to treat balance today as a single element.

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