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An epenthesis ( Greek επένθεσις epenthesis 'insertion', also: sound insertion, sound insertion ) is the addition of a speech sound to a word to facilitate pronunciation (without etymological motivation). Epentheses can only be found in morphologically complex expressions. In some cases they are also used to avoid hiaten . In addition to articulatory and tonal reasons, such sound insertions can also be made for metrical reasons in the poem. As a word-changing rhetorical figure , the epenthesis belongs to the group of metaplasms .


  • -t (euphony-t, t euphonicum) in my t half, your t half, your t half whose t for hope t Lich, name t Lich, openable t Lich, know t Lich
  • -s- in newspaper s young (the inserted s is at the same time a joint element because it is inserted between the two components of a compound )
  • -n- in africa n ish serves to avoid hiatal
  • -t- in Tokyo t it also serves to avoid hiatal

Epentheses do not necessarily have to be reflected in the orthography . Such a sound insertion can take place in the spoken language even with unchanged orthography:

  • -t- in by the way . The pronunciation [ ˈyːbrigəns ] to be expected after the written form is often implemented as [ ˈyːbrigənts ]. Conversely, however, this can often lead to a widespread spelling mistake , as incidentally instead of incidentally is written according to the phonetic realization .

In the course of acquiring the first language, the use of epentheses to facilitate pronunciation can also be observed in small children :

  • Sand a ra for 'Sandra'
  • Lu l ise for 'Luise'

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Epenthese  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations