1.Introduction In this paper, I will explain the processof clipping, which Jamet defined as “linguistic phenomenon consisting incutting up, trimming, or “mincing” a word, so as to produce shorter version ofthis word by loss of material” (2009: 16). Linguists argue whether clipping isword-formation process or not, as some of them believe that shortened forms arenot actual morphemes, which results in banishing clipping from morphology.
Others opine that clipping is connected to morphology and phonology in termsthat clipping form is a real morpheme, otherwise similar processes, such asbackformation, and all other morphological devices, would be unaccepted inmorphology (Jamet, 2009: 22,23). I found clipping as a very practical mean ofcommunication because shortened forms of words are easier to pronounce andwrite. Many studies and linguists were dealing with clipping, as it exists fromancient times.
My seminar paper is outlined in 3 sections. First sections givesa historical review of clipping which was already known in ancient times, butonly as abbreviations in written language. In the second section I define theterm clipping, provide different procedures of clipping, examine some otherprocesses which are similar to clipping and give examples of each procedure. Inthe last, third section, I deal with some aspects of clipping and with meaningof clipped forms. 2. Historicalsummary of clipping Clipping can be understood as an occurrence in the late19th, 20th and 21st century, having its rootsin ancient period, but not as product of word formation, but as abbreviationswhich were not applied in spoken language. Examples of these first shortenedforms of a phrase are IMP, which stands for imperator,or INRI, meaning Iesus Nazarenus Rexludaeorum.
New contracted forms started to appear with the development oftechnology and in a short time, they were widely used in spoken language. Interms of particular fields, chemistry was the first one to use it in order toexplain and present the periodic table of the elements. There was a demand fornew words as the number of inventions increased and very frequently long andcomplicated words would need to be shortened, or clipped, which causedvanishing their longer forms (Steinhauer 2015: 353,354). 3.
Clipping andsimilar forms of clipping In view ofSteinhauer, clipping is defined as a word-formation process in which theshortening of a word does not convert its definition and it generally happensat the same time with its longer form (2015: 352,353). The most usual usage ofclipping can be seen in names – Betty ,fromElizabeth or Will, from William.Clipping can be divided into back clipping, fore-clipping, middle clipping andcomplex clipping.
In back clipping, the original lexeme is cut at the back, andthe rest of it is maintained, for example, math(ematics),gas(oline), ep(isode), fed(eral), intro(duction), in German language: Prof(essor), Uni(versität), in French: croco(dile), manif(estation), in Dutch: bib(liotheek). Occasionally, theclipping can be modified, as in bike(bicycle) or coke (Coca Cola) (Steinhauer2015: 357). The process in which the beginning of an original word is cut,which is not so frequent in English language, is called fore-clipping. That canbe seen in words such as phone(telephone), burger (hamburger), coon (raccoon). Fore-clipping is very rarein other languages too, except for Icelandic, which has a great amount offore-clippings, for example: (automo)bill,(siga)retta (Steinhauer 2015: 358). Middle clipping, a process in which isonly the middle part of a word kept, is not usual process as well. Someexamples for middle clipping are flu,made from the word influenza, jams, originating from pajamas, fridge, from the word refrigerator, or niver for aniversarioderiving from Portuguese.
Complex clipping is a process where are only initialparts of a word kept, for instance: sci-fi(science-fiction), sitcom (situation comedy), grandpa (grandfather) (URL-1).While nouns are the most commonly used in clipping, adjectives are used also: bi(sexual), comfy(comfortable), inGerman: bio(logisch) (Steinhauer2015: 358). There are numerous processes similar toclipping, but they do not end in creation of new words after being shortened,so they cannot be classified as word-formation processes, for exampleabbreviations. They can be defined “as shortened form of a word or a phrase” (URL-2)and they are usually used in written language, but sometimes they can occur inspoken language too. Examples of abbreviations are mr.
– mister, dr.-doctor, jr.-junior (Steinhauer 2015: 356).Acronyms or initialisms, on the other hand, originate from clipping words andthey are regarded as a form of word-formation, despite the fact that they arenot seen as morphological. They are usually distinguished by the way they arepronounced: one way is to pronounce every letter of a word, so-calledalphabetic pronunciation, for instance EFSF,standing for European Financial StabilityFacility, and the other way is to tell the acronym as a “whole” word,called orthoepic acronyms: NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Someacronyms can be pronounced in both ways, such as VIP – vi: ai pi: and vip . Complex lexemes are usually usedas bases for the acronyms, but nowadays, whole sentences are shortened, forinstance, BBS – be back soon or LOL –laughing out loud. (Steinhauer 2015:359). There are cases in which a word containsof, for example, one syllable and three additional initials, as in radar (radio detection and ranging), orof syllables that are taken from different places of a word, as in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg). Thesekinds of words, according to Steinhauer, are called acronym clippings orclipping compounds (2015: 360).
4. Aspects ofclipping Clipping isused among different social groups whose members have to know its particularlanguage in order to successfully understand the meaning of one. These groupscan be divided according to their special purpose, for instance, technology,medical sciences and police. Clipping is nowadays widely used among youngpeople, but it often results with different meaning from its original form. Frequently,there is a link of meaning between some clippings, such as in Fruppie (frustrated urban professional), andoften clipping forms can be used to describe people, as in Loba (Lifestyle of bad organization).
On the other hand, clippingcan lose its original meaning with the time because of ambiguity, which isoften followed by misunderstanding in conversation, as in sub, which can mean submarine,substitute, subeditor… Sometimes, the letters in clipping forms areselected on purpose so that the meaning of a word itself is clear and easy tounderstand, for instance CARE –Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (Steinhauer 2015: 360, 361).5. Conclusion The aim ofthis paper was to examine clipping as a word-formation process which has becomea part of everyday speech. It was first used in ancient time and it has beendeveloping ever since. The main characteristic of clipping is reduction of aword which can happen through a process of back clipping, fore-clipping, middleclipping and complex clipping.
Back clipping is a production of new words wherethe back part of an original word is cut out, as in mag(azine). On the contrary, fore-clipping is a process where isthe beginning of a word clipped, for instance, (aero)plane. Middle clipping occurs when the middle part is kept,as in flu in influenza, and complex clipping is represented with initial partsof a word, as in grandma (grandmother). Thereare also some processes which are almost identical as clipping, such asabbreviation, but they are not considered to be word-formations processes sincethey do not produce new words. It is important to analyse some aspects ofclipping as it is used in daily speech and as more and more clipped forms areoccurring.
Personal, this topic is quite interesting to me because clippinggives us the opportunity to shorten some words so that we would not waste ourtime on pronouncing or writing longer and complicated words, which is also itspractical use. I believe that the way how clipped forms would not lose theiroriginal meaning and how to avoid misunderstandings in conversion while usingclipping should be studied more because if that will occur more often, in myopinion, clipping will lose its value.