Clusters resulting from vowel deletion

When the letters I, U or A are silent, you often hear consonant clusters as a result. Such clusters are not obvious from the spelling. For example, neither of the following words contain a ‘spelled’ cluster. However, you can hear a cluster in each word because the letter I is not pronounced.

Northern Syllables IPA
ᐹᑎᑯᑦ Click here to hear this word paatikut paati-kut [ ˈpaːtʰ – kʊtʰ ]
ᒦᐱᑎᓲᑉ Click here to hear this word miipitisuup mii – piti-suup [ miː – ˈpɪt – su̞pʰ ]
Southern Syllables IPA
ᐙᐱᒥᓱᐎᓐ Click here to hear this word waapimisuwin waapimisuwin
ᑯᐦᑕᒻ Click here to hear this word kuhtam kuhtam

Here are more examples where silent vowels result in audible consonant clusters. (Many more types of clusters are possible, but not shown here.) Notice that in some cases, you can hear up to four consonants in a row:

Northern Syllables IPA
ᐱᒋᔅᑎᐦᐙᐤ Click here to hear this word pichistihwaau * pichistih-waau [ pɨtstʰ – wɔw ]
ᑎᐦᑳᐤ Click here to hear this word tihkaau tihkaau [ ̚kaw ]
ᐙᐱᐦᔮᐤ Click here to hear this word waapihyaau ** waapih-yaau [ ˈwap – j̥aw ]
ᐃᔨᑭᔥᑳᐤ Click here to hear this word iyikishkaau i – yikish-kaau [ i – ˈjɪ – kaw ]
ᐋᐦᑯᓯᐤ Click here to hear this word aahkusiu aahku-siu [ ˈaː – suː ]
ᐋᐱᑯᔒᔥ Click here to hear this word aapikushiish *** aa – piku-shiish [ a – ˈpʊkʷ – ʃiʃ ]
ᑳᒋᔅᑐᐦ Click here to hear this word kaachistuh kaachistuh [ ˈkaːtstʰ ]
ᒀᔥᑯᐦᑎᐤ Click here to hear this word kwaashkuhtiu kwaashkuh-tiu [ ˈkɔʃkʰ – tuʔ ]
ᓂᑐᐦᑎᐙᐤ Click here to hear this word nituhtiwaau nituh-ti – waau [ ɨntʰ – ˈtɪ – wɔw ]
ᑆᓂᔥ Click here to hear this word pwaanish pwaanish [ ˈpɔːntʃ ]
ᐅᑯᐦᑎᔥᑯᐃ Click here to hear this word ukuhtishkui u – kuhtish-kui [ u – ˈkʊ – kʊy ]
ᒫᒫᐱᓱᓐ Click here to hear this word maamaapisun maa – maapi-sun [ ma – ˈmap – sʊn ]
ᐃᔨᑭᔅᒋᓰᐤ Click here to hear this word iyikischisiiu **** i – yikischi-siiu [ i – jɪkst – suʔ ]
ᐊᒥᔅᒄ Click here to hear this word amiskw amiskw [ ˈɛmskʷ ]
ᐊᒥᔥᑯᔑᔥ Click here to hear this word amishkushish ami – shkushish [ ɛmʃ – ˈkʊʃː ]
ᐊᓂᒋᒄ Click here to hear this word anichikw ***** ani chikw [ ˈɛnʊkʷ ]
ᑳᓰᓂᑭᓐ Click here to hear this word kaasiinikin kaa – siini-kin [ ka – ˈsiːn – kɪn ]
ᐐᐐᑎᒫ Click here to hear this word wiiwiitimaa wii – wiiti-maa [wiː – wit – maːʔ ]
ᔖᐳᒥᓐ Click here to hear this word shaapumin ****** shaapu-min [ ˈʃaːp – mɪn ]
  1. * See the page on CH for the TS pronunciation of CHIS.
  2. ** here, PIHY sounds like the initial ‘py’ sounds in English pure.
  3. *** See the page on single vowels for the [ u ] pronunciation of I.
  4. **** Also see the pronunciation of CHIS for this example.
  5. ***** See the page on single vowels for the [ u ] pronunciation of I.
  6. ****** You might hear a bit of a vowel sound between the B and M.
Southern Syllables IPA
ᐋᐦᒋᔅᑖ Click here to hear this word aahchistaa aahchis – taa
ᐋᐸᐦᐌᐤ Click here to hear this word aapahweu aapah – weu
ᒋᒥᔑᑎᓐ Click here to hear this word chimishtin chimish – tin
ᒋᔥᑖᐹᐅᑖᐤ Click here to hear this word chishtaapaautaau chishtaa – paau – taau
ᐋᐦᑯᓲ Click here to hear this word aahkusuu aahkusuu
ᒥᑐᐦᑕᐌᐤ Click here to hear this word nituhtaweu nituhta – weu
ᑳᐦᐄᐦᒀᓂᔥ Click here to hear this word kaasiihkwaanish kaa – siih – kwaa – nish
ᒫᐦᑯᐱᔥ Click here to hear this word maahkupish maah – ku – pish
ᐊᔅᑎᓴᒡ Click here to hear this word astisach astisach
ᓂᒋᒄ Click here to hear this word nichikw ni – chikw
ᐋᓂᔅᑯᑖᐹᓐ Click here to hear this word aaniskutaapaan aanisku – taa – paan
ᐐᔥᑯᔥᑌᓲ Click here to hear this word wiishkushtesuu wiishkushte – suu

Finally, at the end of the word (but not elsewhere), consonants followed by W sound like a consonant cluster.

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