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From fortis +‎ -tion; compare lenition.



fortition (countable and uncountable, plural fortitions)

  1. (phonetics, phonology) A sound change in which a consonant becomes more fortis.
    • 1988, Sylvia Moosmüller, Sociophonology, Peter Auer, Aldo di Luzio (editors), Variation and Convergence: Studies in Social Dialectology, page 76,
      The two process types following from these assumptions, lenition processes, aiming at articulatory ease at the expense of perception, and fortition processes, resulting in articulatory difficulty in favor of better perception, were further modified by Dressler & Drachman (1977), as lenitions need not necessarily impede perception; similarly fortitions need not necessarily result in articulatory difficulty.
    • 2007, Raymond Hickey, Irish English: History and Present-Day Forms[1], page 62:
      In order to distinguish between the two kinds of voiceless final stops the terms 'final devoicing' and 'fortition after sonorants' are used here. Although fortition after sonorants is quite well attested for present-day contact English and in general Irish English, the significance of fent, spent, trent in terms of interference is slight as fortition after /n/ is common in mainland varieties of Middle English as well. Especially in late Middle English many instances of a preterite in /d/ after /n/ changing to /t/ with simultaneous loss of the preterite ending are recorded.
    • 2009, Anna Balas, Why can Poles perceive Sprite but not Coca-Cola? A Natural Phonological account, Paul Boersma, Silke Hamann (editors), Phonology in Perception, Phonology & Phonetics: 15, page 37,
      Donegan (1985: 37–38) offers the following description of fortitions and lenitions. Fortitions are listener-oriented processes, which increase phonetic properties of phonemes. They strengthen the properties of an individual segment by emphasizing certain phonetic features, sometimes at the expense of other features within the segment.
    • 2011, Matthew Gordon, 39: Stress: Phonotactic and Phonetic Evidence, Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth V. Hume, Keren Rice (editors), The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, Volume II: Suprasegmental and Prosodic Phonology, page 924,
      Typically, stressed syllables trigger qualitative fortition and/or lengthening, whereas unstressed syllables are associated with lenition and/or shortening.
  2. (obsolete) Casual choice; fortuitous selection; hazard.
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Relections on the Revolution in France, 1831, Thomas Haviland Burke (editor), Opinions on Reform, page 17,
      No rotation; no appointment by lot; no mode of election operating in the spirit of fortition or rotation, can be generally good in a government conversant in extensive objects.