Sounds Dropped in Rapid Speech

[the following is from the introduction to "A Cree Phrase Book"]

Certain sounds in certain words are usually pronounced in slow, careful speech, but omitted in rapid, casual speech. Such sounds are usually written in parentheses in this book, for example, ka wa'p(a)mit(i)na'n "we'll see you."

In particular, the vowels a and i (but not a' and i') are omitted between certain consonants in rapid casual speech. The consonants between which these words are omitted are the following:

p and m, e.g., niwa'p(a)mison "I am seen," p(i)minowa'so "cook!"

t and s, e.g., ke'hte'ya't(i)sak "old people."

t and n, e.g., ka-wa'p(a)mit(i)na'n "we'll see you."

c and s, e.g., mi'c(i)so "eat!"

s and s, e.g., n(i)kos(i)sak "my sons."

s and n, e.g., is(i)nihka'sow "his name is."

m and p, e.g., pim(i)pahta'w "he is running."

n and p (and the n then sounds like m), e.g., n(i)pa'pa' "my father" (pronounced mpa'pa').

n and t, e.g., o'ta n(i)taya'n "I'm right here."

n and c, e.g., n(i)ci'ma'n "my boat."

n and k, e.g., n(i)ki'-itwa'n "I said, I said it."

n and s, e.g., ta'n(i)si "how?"

n and n, e.g., ni'n~(a)nan "we," n(i)ki'-pahkisin(i)na'n "we fell."

A vowel is not usually dropped in the last syllable of a word, e.g., ke'hte'ya'tis "old person," not ke'hte'ya't(i)s, n(i)kosis "my son," not n(i)kos(i)s, niya'nan "five," not niya'n(a)n.

A vowel is not usually dropped when the following consonant is followed by a dropped vowel, e.g., n(i)pim(i)pahta'n "I am running," not n(i)p(i)m(i)pahta'n.


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