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Questions tagged [syllables]

A unit of organisation for a sequence of speech sounds. Consists of a nucleus with optional preceding onset and optional following coda.

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Why isn't intervocalic /ŋ/ analyzed as an onset in English?

I think that sɪ.ŋɪŋ does not seem too unreasonable as a syllabification of the word singing, so I'm a bit puzzled why that option for the syllabification of intervocalic /ŋ/ seems to be dismissed in ...
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What exactly is the definition of a syllable?

I do not consider myself a linguist. I just teach English to Japanese audience. So please excuse my ignorance if this is too basic a question. What exactly is the definition of a syllable? What I ...
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771 views

How to split IPA spelling into syllables

First, please forgive my ignorance, I'm completely new to linguistics. Given the IPA spelling for word, is it possible to programmatically split it into its sounds? So, for example, given the word "...
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232 views

Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

I have this simple question on Kiswahili, a Bantu language. As you know in english, we can not always define morae. it's completely different from Japanese morae system. But when I learn Swahili, ...
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43 views

What would be the hypothetical phonological range of canines based on their physiology?

There are all kinds of videos showcasing "talking" dogs like huskies jabbering away, but I'm curious: In theory (in a world where dogs could have human brains) what would they physiologically be ...
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Is there a “maximal coda principle”?

The "maximal onset principle" says that, in many (most) languages, consonants will attach to a syllable onset rather than a coda when given the choice. For example, "walking" /wakɪŋ/ in English is ...
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151 views

The Theory Against Syllables

I've seen people mention that some theoretical linguists even dispute the idea of syllables. Maybe, too, it is related to the problem Nuxalk poses to the theory of syllables, since they can have large ...
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57 views

If a syllabic consonant can be a plosive

Wondering if a Syllabic Consonant can be a plosive such as t or p. Maybe Nuxalk has this feature, I don't know. Basically if you would say something like /p't'p't'/ (where ' is for explosive), ...
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The difference between a regular consonant and a syllabic consonant

Trying to understand the difference between regular consonants and Syllabic Consonants. Two examples are from Danish. [ð̩] skinnede [l̩] solen To start (for some context), the way I would naturally ...
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The breakdown of the word “strength” or “cheap” or “sheep”

So it turns out that sometimes consonants in a sequence can be called single consonants (e.g. d͡z), or consonant "clusters". But the main reason for calling d͡z a single consonant is because it "...
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1answer
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Is there distinct jargon for syllabaries depending on their inventory?

The dictionary definition of a syllabary is "a set of written characters representing syllables and (in some languages or stages of writing) serving the purpose of an alphabet." I would personally ...
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Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables?

In my research online, I have found a truism that CV is the most basic syllable type cross-linguistically, and is in fact present in all languages. Other syllable types are not present in all ...
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Wellsean Syllabification and Recapitulation Symbols in the LPD

Those of you who deal with phonetics and phonology of English, and perhaps other languages as well, will surely have read John C. Wells’s article “Syllabification and allophony”, which you can find ...
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What does “directionality of footing” mean?

How do we understand if the foot construction is Right to Left or Left to Right? Does it have to do with the head of the foot? For example, in a trochee (the head is leftmost in the foot), is the ...
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1answer
90 views

What does “ *! ” mean?

What does the symbol *! mean when it is referred to the constraints ONSET and NoCODA? For example in my professor's notes, when /CVCV/ is syllabified as CVC.V, both ONSET and NoCODA take the symbol *!...
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298 views

How can a syllable be marked?

I understand how a word can be marked, for example the word walks is marked with the suffix -s. But what is meant by marked and unmarked syllables ? (Not marked or unmarked words) Can you give ...
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Do a classification of words with two or more stressed syllables exist?

In phonology, words can be classified according to the position of the stressed syllable: An oxytone word is a word stressed in the last syllable. A paroxytone word is a word stressed in the second ...
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What are the arguments against Wells’s syllabification of English?

In Syllabification and Allophony John Wells argues for a view of English syllabification based on phonetic processes within the pronunciation of words. He mentions elsewhere that it is unorthodox, but ...
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424 views

Why is recognition based on phonemes and not syllables or morphemes?

Why is recognition based on detecting individual phonemes, and not chunks such as morphemes or syllables?.. My question were in relation to human perception, and the existence of phonetic boundary, ...
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376 views

English onsets with /s/ and sonority hierarchy

Why are clusters such as /sk/ (as in sky), /st/ (stop), and /sp/ (spill) allowed as onsets in English? The sonority decreases in these clusters and does that not violate the phonotactic rules? On a ...
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Are there any purely monosyllabic languages in use today?

All languages in the world that I know of use words with more than one syllable. Are there any where all words have strictly one syllable? That would mean that there is just one vocal cluster per word,...
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How do I pronounce each syllable slowly from a word in audio?

any ideas? Of a software that transforms the counting syllables slowly automatically from a word in audio at normal speed. des-pa-ci-to please. Suppose I want to do that with audios from this page ...
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Can a syllabic consonant exist between two vowels?

I think it would break the sonority principle, but. Who knows... I was thinking on a similar thing to semivowels, it seems they are only possible between vowels, if there is one between two consonants,...
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1answer
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“split into” — putting the stress on the right syllable

I heard a non-native speaker of English saying something would be "split into". After a fraction of a second I realized that what was intended was "split in two". The difference appears to be that ...
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1answer
244 views

Components that comprise a syllable

Is there a standard representation that combines onset, nucleus, coda with mora? That would help me visualize the prosodic hierarchy better, because I could put something beneath the syllable level. ...
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131 views

Can R sound follow a schwa in a syllable?

Let me ask a question of an usage of schwa as a phoneme and [r]. This [r] is the sound which is used in English and generally expressed with R and not [r] expressed with IPA. Schwa can be regarded ...
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liquids and nasals as syllable nuclei!

I have just started studying Phonology and I find a problem while dealing with Syllables. I read that nuclei are not only vowels, but they could be also liquids (l - r) or nasals (n - m - ng). But ...
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Which types of phonemes mark syllable boundaries?

I'm developing a library that takes words broken down into phonemes and counts the number of syllables in them. The phonemes provided by the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary fall into eight types: ...
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1answer
149 views

What is the explanatory value of moras: why do we need syllable weight?

I understand that morae are used to determine stress and timing in some languages, so obviously there's some motivation to posit their existence in the syllable. But I am not sure I understand what ...
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2answers
101 views

Is there a strict set of rules retrieving syllables from Greek text?

I'm trying to process language corpus written in Greek and like to split words to syllables. I wonder if there is a programmatical way to do that with a strict set of rules, that can be followed to ...
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1answer
89 views

Perceptual salience of two consecutive syllables

Imagine the f0 of two subsequent syllables. The first rises from 200Hz to 300Hz and the second from 300Hz to 400Hz In other words, rises are both 100 Hz. Why is it the case that the first has more ...
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680 views

Can we conclude that morpheme is ALWAYS greater than syllable?

A morpheme is the most smallest meaningful unit of language. A syllable is the smallest piece of pronunciation that has a vowel in it. Definitions are taken from this link. I don't know why, but can ...
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How to learn computer syllabification of IPA?

As in title. Lets say we have uhm anything (hollywood): /hɑˈliwʊˌd/ now how to make algorithm that will find all syllables in this IPA transcription: /hɑˈliwʊˌd/ => /hɑ.li.wʊd/ We can do this, ...
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Finnish data, Consonant Gradatition

I am working on the blow Finnish data. As far as I understand there are 3 alternatives: 1) K -> 0 ( in "fault" group) 2) kk-> k (in "firplace" and "dot" group) 3) k-> k ( in "sledgehammer") The ...
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Is there re-syllabification in Chinese?

I'm reading prosodic phonology, and wondering if there is any re-syllabification process happening in Mandarin Chinese?
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most frequent syllables

I am looking for a list of the most frequent syllables of all languages spoken on earth, sorted by frequency. I found such lists for english and for german, but I want to get a list across all ...
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1answer
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What is the difference between a phonetic syllable and a phonological syllable?

I understand the difference between phonetics and phonology of course, but I have trouble distinguishing the notion of syllable on the two levels. When I'm describing syllabic phenomena, how can I ...
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2k views

Is syllable boundary properly annotated at the phonetic or phonological level?

Should syllable boundary be indicated in the phonetic and/or phoneme transcription? /dog.gi/ [dog.gi] 'doggy' /doggi/ [dog.gi] 'doggy' Or does the choice of one of the two strategies have certain ...
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1answer
138 views

Does the French word [fij] (fille) consist of a single open syllable?

For an assignment in one of our classes, our teacher had directed us to analyze a set of french words, which included the word [fij] (fille). However, later, she instructed us not to analyze that word....
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397 views

What is X in a syllable C=consonant, V=vowel

I don't under stand (X) and (s/sh) in this sentence. As opposed to Hebrew CV(X)(C), the non-Semitic syllable structure of Israeli, (s/sh)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(s/sh)
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Are there languages that disallow initial vowels and lack glottal stop?

Which, if any, of the world's languages have both the following features? Syllable-initial vowels are disallowed; all syllables must begin with a consonant. There is no glottal stop phoneme.
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1answer
180 views

Cross-linguistically, how do syllabic consonants interact with morae?

I've read a bit about the moraic system found in Japanese, but as there isn't much complexity in the case of its syllabic consonants, I am left with a few questions. 1) Are there any natural ...
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1answer
138 views

Is there a phonotactics hierarchy?

For example, Japanese is (C)V(N) [plus that geminated stops across syllable boundaries thing], while Mandarin is (C)(G)(V)(G)(/n/ or /ŋ/) and Polynesian languages are just (C)V. Is there a gradation ...
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1answer
413 views

Does ambisyllabicity apply to all words?

In the answers to my last phonetics assignment provided by my professor, the syllable tree diagram for the word /ʌ n t æ ŋ g l̩ / didn't show any ambisyllabic consonants. Our textbook doesn't go into ...
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526 views

Are the unreleased stops in cantonese discernable by listening?

Background-Info: In contrast to mandarin Chinese, which can only have a few consonants at the and of a syllable, e.g. man, mang, Cantonese syllables can contain p,t,k at their end. Nevertheless, ...
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271 views

unicode symbol(s) for a long syllable in a Latin text

I want to write the following line (Ovid, Metamorphoses, X.30) with its metric peculiarity : per Chaos hoc ingēns uāstīque silentia rēgnī (something like : By this huge void and these vast and ...
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How can I use C's and V's to describe syllable structures in a way that rules out highly unlikely syllable structures?

How can I use C's and V's to describe syllable structures in a way that rules out highly unlikely syllable structures? For example, I recently looked up the fact that "The structure of the Hawaiian ...
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2answers
243 views

Word and/or syllable frequency data for Lao

I've returned my language focus to Lao now that my travels through Asia have finished and I'm back home. There are not as many or as high quality resources available for Lao as for many other ...
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1answer
735 views

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept?

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept? Consider 'syllable counting' as a task: would that be regarded as a phonetic task or phonological tasks? Would it depend on whether words are ...