UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 15 (2003)
Grammar-internal and grammar-external assimilation
Processes traditionally described as assimilations fall into two main types according to the impact they have on the informational content of speech signals. In grammar-internal assimilation, exemplified by vowel harmony, sound properties that are suprasegmentally extended have a linguistic marking function. In grammar-external assimilation, exemplified by lenition, the extended properties belong to the carrier signal.