aphesis

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

aph·e·sis / ˈafisis/ • n. Linguistics the loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word (e.g., of a from around to form round). DERIVATIVES: a·phet·ic / əˈfetik/ adj. a·phet·i·cal·ly / əˈfetik(ə)lē/ adv.

views updated

APHESIS [Stress: ‘AH-fe-sis’]. The loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a WORD, as in prentice from apprentice, sometimes leading to a word with a new meaning and use: lone from alone, slant from aslant, squire from esquire. Younger children often speak aphetically, a style that Rudyard Kipling imitates in Just So Stories (1902), marking the loss with an apostrophe: 'Stute Fish, 'scruciating idle, 'sclusively bare, 'satiable curiosity. See APH(A)ERESIS, ELISION.

views updated

aphesis (philol.) loss of a short initial unaccented syllable as in (a)lone, (e)squire. XIX. — Gr. áphesis letting go, f. aphiénai, f. APO- + hiénai let go, send.
So aphetic XIX. f. Gr. áphetos vbl. adj.