Clipping (phonetics)

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In phonetics, clipping is the process of shortening the articulation of a phonetic segment, usually a vowel. A clipped vowel is pronounced more quickly than an unclipped vowel and is often also reduced.

Examples[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Particularly in Netherlands Dutch, vowels in unstressed syllables are shortened and centralized, which is particularly noticeable with tense vowels; compare konijn [köˈnɛin] and koning [ˈkoːnɪŋ].

In weak forms of words, e.g. naar and voor, the vowel is frequently centralized: [näːr, föːr], though further reduction to [nə, fə] or [nr̩, fr̩] is possible in rapid colloquial speech.[1]

English[edit]

English has two types of clipping, neither of which is phonemic.

Pre-fortis clipping[edit]

In English, clipping without vowel reduction most often occurs in a stressed syllable before a voiceless consonant or Fortis consonant (called pre-fortis clipping), so that e.g. bet [ˈbɛt] has a vowel that is shorter than the one in bed [ˈbɛˑd].[2]

Vowels preceding voiceless consonants that begin a next syllable (as in keychain /ˈkiː.tʃeɪn/) are not affected by the pre-fortis clipping.

Rhythmic clipping[edit]

Another type of clipping is rhythmic clipping, which occurs in polysyllabic words - the more syllables a word has, the shorter its vowels are, so that e.g. the first vowel of readership is shorter than in reader, which in turn is shorter than in read.[2][3] This can be transcribed [ˈridəʃɪp], [ˈriˑdə] and [ˈriːd], respectively, though the rhythmic clipping is very rarely transcribed in IPA.

Clipping with vowel reduction also occurs in many unstressed syllables.

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Many speakers of Serbo-Croatian from Croatia and Serbia pronounce historical unstressed long vowels as short, with some exceptions, such as genitive plural endings,[4] so that e.g. the name Jadranka is pronounced [jâdranka], rather than [jâdraːnka].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collins & Mees, pp. 227, 240.
  2. ^ a b Wells (2008), p. ?.
  3. ^ Wells, John C. (2006). "Lecture 3: The vowel system; clipping" (PDF). Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Alexander (2006), p. 356.

Bibliography[edit]