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Definition: In pronunciation, the influence of a sound on adjacent or nearby sounds. In other words, a particular letter can have a varying sound that depends at least in part on what other letters are around it. Assimilation is common in both English and Spanish.
Also Known As: Asimilación in Spanish.
In English, the "p" often has a distinctly less explosive sound when it is preceded by an "s," as in "spot," than it does at the beginning of a word or after a vowel, as in "people." For a more extreme example, "don't you" is often pronounced as "DOHN-chu." In Spanish, to give one of many examples, the n is usually pronounced like an m when it comes before certain letters, such as p. Thus en pesos is usually pronounced the same as empesos would be.

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