From Glottopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dissimilation (also called dissimilatory change) is a sound change in which one sound becomes less similar than another, usually adjacent, sound: Latin peregrinus > French pelerin 'pilgrim', Eng. pilgrim. Dissimilation is the opposite of assimilation.

Dissimilation can be classified according to the same dichotomies as assimilation: partial versus total, progressive versus regressive, contact versus distant.


A famous example of dissimilation is the dissimilation of aspirates in Greek and Sanskrit known as Grassmann's Law.


  • Crowley, Terry. 1997. An introduction to historical linguistics 3rd ed. Auckland: Oxford University Press.
  • McMahon, April M.S. 1994. Understanding language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other languages

German Dissimilation (de)