my native language supposedly has syllabic Sonorants and I'd like to know if they are actually syllabic or just a sequence of a short schwa+sonorant, here is me Pronouncing them in clusters.







what is the phonetic quality of these syllabic sonorants? are they really syllabic or are They just a cluster of [ə] and a sonorant?

1 Answer 1


At the phonetic level, they are not clusters of schwa plus sonorant. That does not mean that they are syllabic: they could plain sonorant consonants, without the syllabic diacritic. There are a few languages which present distinctions between syllabic and non-syllabic sonorants in limited contexts (initially and postvocalically for nasals in many Bantu languages, prevocalically in Serbian), but not when flanked by stops. You might find a phonological argument that those sonorants count as syllables. The matter is handled by mere assertion in the negative here ("Consonants cannot appear as syllable nuclei in Georgian, so this syllable is analysed as CCCCCCCCVC"), but you could look here for extensive linguistic discussion of the issue in Georgian (assuming that is the language you're referring to). Butskhrikidze does argue for (some of) those exact words as having syllabic sonorants.

  • on page 263 of Standard Georgian the word /ɑmɾiɡɑd/ is Phonetically transcribed as [ɑməɾiɡɑd̥], how can this be explained? Mar 7 at 22:27
  • No idea. You might write to the authors.
    – user6726
    Mar 7 at 23:21
  • according to this study, Georgian breaks up excessive consonant clusters by adding a schwa-like vocal elements, I personally agree with this analysis since I hear similar schwa-like element in the word d͡zᵊmɑ. Mar 14 at 8:48

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