Prothesis (linguistics)

In linguistics, prothesis (/ˈprɒθɪsɪs/; from post-classical Latin[1] based on Ancient Greek: πρόθεσις próthesis 'placing before'),[2][3] or less commonly[4] prosthesis (from Ancient Greek πρόσθεσις prósthesis 'addition')[5][6] is the addition of a sound or syllable at the beginning of a word without changing the word's meaning or the rest of its structure. A vowel or consonant added by prothesis is called prothetic or less commonly prosthetic.

Prothesis is different from the adding of a prefix, which changes the meaning of a word.

Prothesis is a metaplasm, a change in spelling or pronunciation. The opposite process, the loss of a sound from the beginning of a word, is called apheresis or aphesis.

  1. ^ "prothesis". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. ^ "prothesis". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  3. ^ πρόθεσις. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  4. ^ Trask, Robert Lawrence. 1999. A Dictionary of Phonetics and Phonology. London: Routledge, p. 296.
  5. ^ "prosthesis". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.,
  6. ^ πρόσθεσις. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project

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