See also: lénition
Analyzable as lenis + -ition, or as if from Latin lēnīt(us) + -ion, or Latin lēnītiō (“softening”) from lēniō (“soften”) + -tiō (action noun suffix) (attested since at least the 1500s, the same timeframe lenition is first attested in English with the sense "assuaging"). Modelled on German Lenierung.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /lɪˈnɪʃən/, /liːˈnɪʃən/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ləˈnɪʃən/, /liˈnɪʃən/
lenition (countable and uncountable, plural lenitions)
- (phonetics, phonology) A weakening of articulation causing a consonant to become lenis (soft).
- Antonym: fortition
- Coordinate term: assimilation
- 2001, Robert Stockwell, Donka Minkova, English Words: History and Structure, page 104,
- One of these processes, the process of T-Lenition, is extremely common, even though it takes place only when the input consonant is adjacent to a small number of affixes. In this change, a stopped consonant, [p t k b d g], becomes a fricative, [s, z, š, ž]. This process is called lenition, or weakening.
- 2001, Lisa M. Lavoie, Consonant Strength: Phonological Patterns and Phonetic Manifestations, page 7,
- Environments are an essential part of any discussion of lenition. Textbooks often describe lenition as occurring in the weak intervocalic or word-final environments. The canonical examples of lenition given earlier in (1) through (3) all occur either between vowels or between sonorants.
- 2008, Krzysztof Jaskula, Celtic, Joaquim Brandão de Carvalho, Tobias Scheer, Philippe Ségéral (editors), Lenition and Fortition, Studies in Generative Grammar: 99, page 347,
- As for Goidelic languages, the situation is clearer because Lenition III in this subfamily consisted in losing the same property as the first two lenitions, namely stopness.
- 2011, Naomi Gurevich, 66: Lenition, Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth V. Hume, Keren Rice (editors), The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, Volume III: Phonological Processes, page 1573,
- Five general patterns of lenitions – all based to some extent on empirical data – are identified.
weakening of consonant articulation
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 “lenition”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 “lenition”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.