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Haplology is the reduction of a sequence of two identical or very similar syllables to a single such syllable.


  • Middle English humblely > Modern English humbly (Campbell 1998:37)
  • Basque sagar "apple" + ardo "wine" > sagardo "cider" (Trask 1996:68)


the English possessive 's is not pronounced after the plural morpheme -s (e.g. John's reaction vs. the two cats' reactions). In Dutch, the noun-forming suffix -eling may attach to nouns, verbs and adjectives (dorpeling 'villager', zuigeling 'infant', stommeling 'idiot'). If the base ends in the sequence -el, one of the -el-sequences is haplologically deleted (edel 'noble', edeling 'nobleman').


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Haas, W. de & M. Trommelen 1992. Morfologisch Handboek van het Nederlands, SDU, Den Haag.
  • Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Campbell, Lyle. 1998. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Trask, R. L.. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold.

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