What is assimilation?

February 27, 2015
What is assimilation?

The concept of "assimilation" is used in many areas of science and knowledge - this is a rather extensive term. The word itself has Latin roots and literally means “assimilation”, which helps to reveal its etymological meaning.

  • In biology and medicine, assimilation means the processes of biological synthesis and anabolism in living organisms, as a result of which their composition changes, and these substances involved in assimilation are included in it. This, for example, is a high-molecular synthesis: proteins, acids, lipids. Which, of course, does not do without a certain amount of energy costs. Usually opposed to the process of dissimilation - disintegration.
  • In a linguistic context, assimilation means the assimilation of one sound (phoneme) to another. It is characteristic of the same type of sounds: vowels with vowels, consonants with consonants. It can be complete when one of these sounds is completely absorbed, and incomplete, respectively. Usually this process is associated with speech and pronunciation of words.
  • In the sociological sciences and ethnography, assimilation may mean the absorption of the distinctive features of one society in favor of features — more persistent, as it is thought — of another. The peculiar loss of authenticity in the cultural and everyday context. Mixing tribes - one for the other. It can occur both voluntarily and by force (the latter leads to genocide and the extermination of the national specifications of entire nations).

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