For example, , and many speakers insert schwa between the /l/ and /t/ of realtor.
Epenthesis is sometimes used for humorous or childlike effect.
The term epenthesis may also be used to refer to the addition of segmental material to satisfy a morphological template, or minimal word length requirement.
Theoretically, epenthesis may occur as the result of a phonological, morphological, or phonetic rule.
However, in a theoretical framework lacking derivations, such as optimality theory, it is possible to refer only to surface-true epenthesis.
In what follows only apparent cases of surface-true epenthesis will be discussed; this is partially for practical reasons—the burden of proof is higher for cases of “covert” epenthesis—and partially because optimality theory provides a more restrictive prediction about the contexts in which epenthesis can occur, and which segments can epenthesize.Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Middle of 16th century: via Late Latin, from Ancient Greek ἐπένθεσις (epenthesis), from ἐπεντίθημι (epentithēmi, “I insert”), from ἐπί (epi) ἐντίθημι (entithēmi, “I put in”), from ἐν (en, “in”) τίθημι (tithēmi, “I put, place”)., Ancient Greek ἐπένθεσις - epenthesis, from epi "on" en "in" thesis "putting") is the addition of one or more sounds to a word, especially to the interior of a word. Here there is no epenthesis from a historical perspective, since the a-t is derived from Latin habet (he has), and the t is therefore the original third person verb inflection.This means that epenthesized segments may actually fail to surface—if a later rule deletes that segment.The pattern may also be rendered opaque if the original triggering environment is altered by the action of subsequent rules (counter-bleeding); or if the relevant environment surfaces only later, failing to trigger epenthesis (counter-feeding).For example, the cartoon character Yogi Bear says "pic-a-nic basket" for "picnic basket." Another example is to be found in the chants of England football fans in which England is usually rendered as , or the pronunciation of "athlete" as "ath-e-lete".Some apparent occurrences of epenthesis, however, have a separate cause: the pronunciation of nuclear as nucular arises out of analogy with other -cular words (binocular, particular, etc.), rather than epenthesis.Epenthesis often breaks up a consonant cluster or vowel sequence that is not permitted by the phonotactics of a language.Sporadic cases can be less obviously motivated, however, such as warsh 'wash' in some varieties of American English.In Old English, this was ane in all positions, so a diachronic analysis would see the original n disappearing except where a following vowel required its retention: an A limited number of words in Japanese use epenthetic consonants to separate vowels, example of this is the word harusame (春雨, spring rain) which is a compound of haru and ame in which an /s/ is added to separate the final /u/ of haru and the initial /a/ of ame.Since epenthetic consonants are not used regularly in modern Japanese, it is possible that this epenthetic /s/ is a hold over from Old Japanese. One example is the word baai (場合, situation), which is a combination of ba (場, place) and ai (合い, meet): in some dialects it is pronounced bawai.