Language and Linguistics

What is apheresis with examples


Apheresis is a resource with which a sound that appears in the initial part of a word is eliminated . This type of process can be natural or forced. It usually tends to occur in a language with certain words, but it can also be imposed as a rhetorical resource.

The origin of the term comes from the Greek word “Aphaeresis . ” This word is made up of three parts that come to mean: out (apo) // remove (hairo) // “formation”. That is, a process in which something is removed.

The apheresis is a linguistic phenomenon that is the deletion of a letter, but may also be a full syllable at the beginning of a word.

Apheresis is a rhetorical figure , a resource by means of which a sound that always appears in the initial part of the word is eliminated . That is, a sound that is written at the beginning of a word is not pronounced because it has been removed.

This may be due to the fact that over time that sound has ceased to be pronounced and the word in particular has resorted to apheresis in its evolution, but this resource can also be forced rhetorically in poetry, for example.

The elimination of sounds at the beginning of a word can be of a single syllable or of several. Although apheresis can be used both in written and oral language, it is best not to use it too much when we have to present a written text. Let’s see a very clear example of apheresis that will help us present a very clear definition of this resource:

Examples of apheresis

As we have seen in the previous section, apheresis in language is nothing more than the loss of the initial sound in a word without altering its meaning. This loss can be just one letter sound or several syllables, considerably shortening a word. We can point out different examples that we use conventionally in everyday life to communicate.

  • Pseudonym : Miss the initial p and it would be pronounced and written as a pseudonym .
  • Cello : on many occasions, in order to shorten the word, we use cello . In this case several syllables have been lost because violon – has disappeared and only the final syllables of the word are pronounced. Despite this, it does not lose meaning within the sentence.
  • Psychiatrist : the sound p , at the beginning of the word, disappears pronouncing itself as a psychiatrist without there being any problem with it.
  • Congratulations : although this apheresis is less common, it is also affected and on many occasions it is common to use norabuena . In this case the initial sound E has been lost .
  • Bus – is another example of a very common apheresis. In this case it is very widespread and the most common is that the first two syllables auto- are dispensed with , to refer to this means of transport, therefore, we can find the word bus in both written and oral language .
  • Psoriasis : most of the words that contain this formula ps- , at the beginning of the word, usually present apheresis. Thus we find psoriasis that can be written and pronounced without the p sound .

Examples of apheresis in sentences

Thus, we can point out that although they are more than widespread and admitted forms, the use of apheresis is a language vice that leads to the writing of words in the same way in which they are pronounced. We see that it is the same to write them using one form or another since both are correct, but the truth is that it is not convenient to abuse them. Let’s look at them in sentences to visually appreciate the difference.

  • My cousin is a clinical psychologist / My cousin is a clinical psychologist .
  • I wrote under the pseudonym Flor del Campo/ I wrote under the pseudonym Flor del Campo.
  • Antonio performed an impressive cello solo / Antonio performed an impressive cello solo .
  • This woman should go to a psychiatrist / This woman should go to a psychiatrist .
  • Congratulations on the birth of your son/ Norabuenas on the birth of your son.
  • To be able to go to your house I have to take the bus / To be able to go to your house I have to take the bus .
  • The doctor told him he had psoriasis / The doctor told him he had psoriasis .

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