Clipping (phonetics)

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[]

Dutch[]

Particularly in Netherlands Dutch, vowels in unstressed syllables are shortened and centralized, which is particularly noticeable with tense vowels; compare the /oː/ phoneme in konijn About this sound [köˈnɛin] (phonemically /koːˈnɛin/) 'rabbit' and koning About this sound [ˈkoʊnɪŋ] (phonemically /ˈkoːnɪŋ/) 'king'.

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[]

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

Pre-fortis clipping[]

In English, clipping without vowel reduction most often occurs in a stressed syllable before a 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[]

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.

German[]

German has phonemic vowel length in stressed syllables, but vowels are shortened in some unstressed syllables. The short vowels [i, y, u, e, ø, o] exist only as unstressed allophones of the respective long vowels. Speakers that realize the long /aː/ with a different quality than the short /a/ have an additional allophone [ɑ] (or whatever the quality of the long /aː/ is). This is very noticeable in Low German-influenced varieties where the first vowels of Kalender [kɑˈlɛndɐ] (phonemically /kaːˈlɛndəʁ/) and alles [ˈæləs] (phonemically /ˈaləs/) have very different qualities. See Standard German phonology.

Serbo-Croatian[]

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

See also[]

References[]

  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[]