I am currently studying linguistics (new to the subject) and I have a challenging time understanding the different assimilation forms. So far we studied these:

  • Assimilation of voicing only (place and manner aren't changing)
  • Assimilation of place only
  • Assimilation of manner only
  • and Assimilation of manner AND place.
  • also anticipatory of place.

My problem is I want to practice some exercises to tell the difference, and I cannot find any online examples that can help me out. I also need to know if there are any specific patterns. Can someone be kind enough to help out?:)

1 Answer 1


This is less of an absolute classification, and more just a description of what's happening in a particular circumstance in a particular language.

Assimilation means one thing is becoming more like another thing. That means some properties are getting changed, to become more similar.

What properties are getting changed? [b] is a voiced bilabial stop, [m] is a voiced bilabial nasal, so if [b] turns into [m] that's assimilation of manner: the manner is the property that's changing. If [b] turns into [d] on the other hand, the place is the property that's changing, and if [b] turns into [p], the voicing is the property that's changing.

In other words, just write out the properties of the before-sound and the after-sound, and look at which ones changed. That's the type of assimilation it is.

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