One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The insertion of a vowel between two consonants to aid pronunciation, as in he went thataway.
- ‘It is the unstressed environment that licenses anaptyxis, and so consistently closed, unstressed syllables are required.’
- ‘It seems more like anaptyxis to me, with maybe a compensatory syncope.’
- ‘Prothesis and anaptyxis are often called simply ‘vowel’ or ‘schwa epenthesis’.’
- ‘There is cross-linguistic evidence for associating anaptyxis-prothesis asymmetries with the nature of the consonants involved in the process.’
- ‘This appendix provides evidence of the application of anaptyxis in Old English.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek anaptuxis ‘unfolding’, from ana- ‘back, again’ + ptuxis ‘folding’.
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