Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Clipping in English

Clipping refers to the shortening of a segment. The segment is usually a vowel. Clipped vowels have a shorter duration than other vowels and often occur in unstressed syllables. Two types of clipping which occur in English are pre-fortis clipping and rhythmic clipping.

English has many examples of clipping in a stressed syllable before a voiceless consonant. This consonant is also known as a fortis consonant. For example, the vowel of hat is shorter than the vowel of had. Pre-fortis clipping fails to apply to vowels which precede voiceless consonants in an adjacent syllable. For example, the vowel of sea in seashell remains long.

Another kind of clipping is rhythmic clipping. This occurs in polysyllabic words. The vowels become shorter in words with a greater number of syllables. For example, the first vowel of leadership is shorter than the first vowel of leader, and the first vowel of leader is shorter than the vowel of lead.

English has many examples of clipping. They can be classified into two types, pre-fortis and rhythmic. Clipping is a common phenomenon not only in English but in many languages. The most common form of clipping shortens and centralizes vowels in unstressed syllables.

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