Initial Cluster Reduction in English
Initial CCR is a sub-type of word-initial segment loss. It is thus a type of aphaeresis (or aphesis) that affects all phonemes in word- or syllableinitial position (vowels and consonants alike): CVC->VC- or VCV->CV-. Of special interest here are cases of aphaeresis that operate on initial clusters of consonants, namely when a CC-initial segment is deleted and the cluster undergoes modification to a monosegmental C- (CC- >C-). This process is also referred to as ‘glide cluster reduction’ by Wells (1982: 228). Aphaeresis operating on CCs ultimately leads to a reduction of the entire cluster (namely through deletion of one of the segments) or, in other words, it entails that a CC- becomes homophonous with a single C- (usually the second segment of the cluster prior to aphaeresis), with which it effectively merges.
KeywordsBritish Isle Lexical Item Initial Cluster Oxford English Dictionary Syllable Structure
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