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In linguistics, assibilation is the term for a sound change resulting in a sibilant consonant. It is commonly the final phase of palatalization.

Romance languages

The word "assibilation" itself contains an example of the phenomenon, being pronounced . The classical Latin tio was pronounced (for example, assibilatio was pronounced and attentio ). However, in Vulgar Latin it assibilated to , and this can still be seen in Italian: attenzione. In French, lenition gave , which in English then palatalized to the .

High German consonant shift

In the High German consonant shift, voiceless stops spirantized to at the end of a syllable. The shift of to (as in English water, German Wasser) is assibilation.


Proto-Indo-European and (Greek th) before shifted to Proto-Greek .Herbert Weir Smyth. Greek Grammar. : ty, thy > s, ss
  • -> Homeric tóssos > Attic tósos "this much" (Latin tot)
  • > Homeric méssos > Attic mésos "middle" (Latin medius)

shifted to finally in Attic and Ionic, but not in Doric.
  • Doric títhēti – Attic-Ionic títhēsi "he/she places"


In the history of Finnish, changed to . The alternation can be seen in dialectal and inflected word-forms: kielti vs. kielsi "s/he denied"; vesi "water", vetenä "as water".


It is characteristic of......
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