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Blend of penultimate +‎ initial, treating pen- (from Latin paene (almost)) as a prefix.


  • IPA(key): /ˌpɛnɪˈnɪʃəl/
  • Hyphenation: pen‧ini‧tial


peninitial (not comparable)

  1. (chiefly linguistics) Falling in the position after initial position; second.
    • 2009, Stéphanie J. Bakker, The Noun Phrase in Ancient Greek: A Functional Analysis of the Order and Articulation of NP Constituents in Herodotus (Amsterdam Studies in Classical Philology), Brill, →ISBN, page 74:
      In examples (81) and (82), the postpositive possessives do not occupy the peninitial position in the clause, nor the peninitial position of the NP.
    • 2014, Matthew Gordon, “Disentangling stress and pitch-accent: a typology of prominence at different prosodic levels”, in Harry van der Hulst, editor, Word Stress: Theoretical and Typological Issues, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 109:
      Because the factors conditioning edge repulsion of the pitch peak are relatively weak at the left edge, it is not surprising that peninitial prominence is rare cross-linguistically.
    • 2018, Moreno Mitrović, “Configurational change in Indo-European coordinate constructions”, in Word Order Change (Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics), volume 29, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 36:
      I have empirically established that there were two canonical constructions available in IE languages: a head initial and a head peninitial one, the latter with the two mono- and polysydentic subtypes.