affricative (n.) 1879, perhaps via German, with -ive + Latin affricat-, past participle stem of affricare "rub against," from ad- (see ad-) + fricare "to rub" (see friction).

Source: p 40, Linguistics For Dummies (1 ed, 2012; by Dechaine, Burton, Vatikiotis-Bateson).

Affricates: These make a stop and then a fricative.

Source: p 79, Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (6 ed, 2010; by Adrian Akmajian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer, Robert M. Harnish)

An affricate is a single but complex sound, beginning as a stop but releasing secondarily into a fricative.

Both books above seem to suggest a separation between the stop and fricative. If so, does this separation contradict the etymology of 'affricative', because the prefix ad- seems to imply a connection of fricare TO something? Did anything drift semantically?

  • 8
    Many words have meanings which are inconsistent with that implied by their etymology, as you well know, since you have often mentioned your awareness of the etymological fallacy. Why do you keep asking questions which are about nothing but this inconsistency?
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 21 '15 at 22:25
  • If you're looking for the self-demonstrating mnemonic, that would probly be apfrication in this case. Rather like haplogy, methatesis, and rhotacirm.
    – jlawler
    Sep 21 '15 at 23:31
  • @ColinFine Because such inconsistencies can reveal historical and diverse thoughts and opinions? Or they can reveal and encourage attempts to conciliate semantic drifts? For example, your comment applies to the etymology of trachea,, but which nonetheless can aid one to understand the Greeks?
    – NNOX Apps
    Sep 24 '15 at 17:03
  • 1
    Knowing the etymology may indeed give you some insight into the thinking of a past culture. But by the etymological fallacy in reverse, the current meaning gives you no reliable information about the etymology. But you appear to keep asking about the relationship between an earlier meaning and the current one.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 25 '15 at 0:00

It doesn't contradict it. Assuming an etymology of ad-fricare, it literally goes on to translate to "towards a fricative", which is what affricates, transitions from plosives to fricatives in an abrupt and short interval, actually are. A separation has always existed: they're made up of two sounds blending into one another.

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