What is the name of Germanic n > m near f / Greek ν > μ near π transformation?

  • 10
    It's just assimilation. The nasal acquires the labial characteristic of the stop.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 13:44
  • 6
    More specifically, nasal place assimilation.
    – Miztli
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 14:56
  • 2
    I'm not sure why someone VTC'd as opinion-based; whether or not this is a good question, "assimilation" is standard terminology.
    – Draconis
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 18:02
  • 1
    @Draconis indeed, it's neither opinion-based nor does it need details or clarity. It might not be a great question, but it has a very direct and definite answer. Given I don't know all that much about linguistics, I spend most of my time here voting on question closures, and I am often quite appalled by what I see.
    – LjL
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


This is assimilation of place, where one sound changes its place of articulation to match an adjacent sound. It's very common cross-linguistically, e.g. Latin in- + par > impar "unequal", or Swahili ny- + -bwa > mbwa "dog".

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