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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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Is syllabification significant in (natural) spoken languages?

The way I understand/guess it, it's not significant in English, that is, there's no example where a word changes meaning by how it is broken into syllables. I guess and ask because there are different ...
skyking's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How many beats is a syllable?

I’ve read some sources that say a syllable is “one beat” but I don’t understand that. Wouldn’t it depend on the tempo of the pulse. I.e, if a tempo is 60bpm can’t you fit different numbers of ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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2 answers
117 views

Do we know how many distinct syllables are there in Arabic?

This answer cites some numbers for the count of distinct syllables of a couple of languages. And I read on brilliant.org that more distinct syllables mean more knowledge transfered per second. Is ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Does 'z' act as a coda or onset in the syllable structure for the word crazy?

I am working on drawing the syllable structure for the word crazy. So far within kreizi, ei and i are nucliet, kr is an onset, but I am stuck on the 'z'. There are many words that start with z in the ...
Janet Stewart's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

What are the rules for creating multiple syllable words in Tibetan without tsheg?

I was under the assumption that all Tibetan syllables were marked with a tsheg, but now after talking with someone from Tibet, I learn that there are many cases where this is not true, such as pema (...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
233 views

Single syllable breakdown of the word strawberry in IPA

My intro linguistics class was doing a demonstration of how to break up single syllables into their vowel trees. We came up with three different interrpretations and were looking for more opinions. ...
Laela's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
264 views

Is there an automatic way to divide French words into syllables/morphemes?

Context: I am trying to come up with a way to divide French words into syllables, phonemes, morphemes, or any other individually pronounceable/meaningful sub-unit in order to model word corruption in ...
0sharp's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
314 views

In languages that allow vowel hiatus, what rules prevent the formation of words consisting only of four or more consecutive syllabic vowels?

For those who came in late, vowel hiatus is a common term for the occurrence of consecutive vowel sounds each of which serves as the nucleus of a syllable. For example, in the word “chaotic” we see ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
114 views

What is the term for the duration ratio between the vowel and the coda?

A syllable consists of three parts: The onset, the nucleus (which is usually a vowel), and the coda. The onset and the coda are optional, or may come in consonant clusters, but for the purpose of this ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
246 views

Are there languages where all syllables start with a consonant and end in a vowel?

This is a relaxed version of this question Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables? asking for strictly CV-languages. Here I want to know if there are languages with the phonology CC*VV*, ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

How do you write the phonological rule for if something occurs before a stressed syllable?

I have the notion that /t/ and /th/ (aspirated [t]) are complementary allophones. How would I write the rule that an aspirated t occurs at the beginning of a word and the beginning of a stressed ...
JazzP's user avatar
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1 answer
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How are codas before null onsets differentiated from onsets?

That is, how do people tell ...VC V... from ...V CV... in languages that have such a distinction? I haven't been able to find anything regarding this.
Mlvluu's user avatar
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1 answer
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Deducing syllable structure from sonority curve and phonotactics

When I take the sonority curve of `Tuesdays' (/tuzdeɪz/) I have a peak at /u/ and another one at /eɪ/. Between the two peaks I have /zd/, why should the /z/ belong to the first syllable and the /d/ to ...
yannis's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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How To Solve UKLO Mandombe Problem

Premise I was looking at a two-part problem from the 2021 UKLO titled "Mandombe". UKLO is a linguistics olympiad, which is mostly a code-breaking competition. In this problem, we were given ...
MeltedStatementRecognizing's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
78 views

Can an onset of a syllable be CV?

Hypothetically speaking, can a CVVC sequence be segmented into a CV onset, a V nucleus and a C coda? Or is it the case that the VV will always be the nucleus?
wade's user avatar
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1 answer
142 views

How to distinguish between hiatus and a diphthong?

Recently I've been thinking about the difference hiatus and diphthongs. in my native language there are no phonemic diphthongs but phonetic diphthongs do occur e.g "კაი" ("okay") /...
LinguisticsFanatic's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
74 views

What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the syllable pri in Classical Latin, Spanish, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese? [duplicate]

What is the name of the thing that the tongue does on the syllable pri in Classical Latin, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and possibility other Romance languages? Since Classical Latin has ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
465 views

Violations of sonority sequencing principle in English

What accounts for these violations of the sonority sequencing principle in English: /strɛŋkθ/, /fʌdʒ/ (both have fricatives after stops in the coda) Wikipedia says In native English words, no phoneme ...
minseong's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
208 views

Full stops to indicate a syllable boundary?

Without syllable boundary: ˈwʌt̚ ˈhæp ənd || With syllable boundary: ˈwʌt̚ ˈhæp.ənd || However I have words that are two syllables and both syllables are stressed: ˈsʌmˌθɪŋz‿ˈaʊt̚ ˈðɛəɹ || As you ...
Zoltan King's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
173 views

How is the word 'second' phonologically split into syllables?

The Cambridge dictionary says that the word 'second' is uttered as /ˈsek.ənd/, in which the first syllable is /sek/ and the second is /ənd/. My question is thus the following: why doesn't this word ...
thiagotps's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Scientific sources/ literature regarding (spanish) speech rate

I'm interested in scientific sources or literature regarding speech rate/ tempo of speech of the Spanish language. Do you know any? Specifically, I'm looking for sources that compare the speech rate ...
Olive's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
174 views

Why is/was Gokana claimed to lack syllables?

Wikipedia says that Gokana has been argued to lack syllables, a radical claim because syllables are traditionally considered to be universal, offers no details, but points out that later the claim has ...
Sodalite's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
190 views

Mathematics of Rhyme (perfect, slant)

I have recently been working on some programming frameworks incorporating audio analysis of the English language, particularly whether words "rhyme" or not (pure rhyme, slant rhyme, etc.) ...
Finn_Lancaster's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Are there any languages that have tones that shift over vowels in a single syllable?

I am wondering about tones. Specifically, wondering if there are cases where a tone shifts from one vowel to the next, perhaps in some language like Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese, if not some African ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
176 views

Probability based algorithm to convert IPA into english language text

For a student job i'm creating a neural network-based method of determining the probability that two written names are referring to the same person (e.g. what is the probability that kelly m. refers ...
JadaLovelace's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

Proof of definite beginning and ending of syllables where three or more consonants in between?

(Note: I am not sure on how to phrase this question, so if you can, please edit for clarity) So, recently a question came into my mind about whether we can actually define where syllables begin and ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
232 views

Is a long consonant counted as C or CC in syllable structure?

There are languages that have consonants that are a bit longer in duration i.e. the same as long vowels (e.g. like /iː/). So a long consonant is represented by writing /ː/ after it: long L = /lː/, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you bound a syllable / split a word into syllables programmatically?

What are the rules for bounding a syllable? I am trying to take IPA text and write software to automatically separate the syllables for the word. By trying I am still just thinking about how to do it. ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
254 views

How to syllabify 'behave' and 'behaviour'?

I'm well aware of the Maximal Onset Principle which says that 'intervocalic consonants should be syllabified as the onset of the following syllable as long as the Phonotactic constraints allow it'. I ...
Mellifluous's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
452 views

Algorithms used for identifying the syllables in a Sanskrit word

Could anyone give a reference to the best book or website for learning the algorithms used for identifying the syllables in a Sanskrit word, in a completely unambiguous way, just from a piece of text? ...
Mr Corn's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
168 views

Is there Wis-consin and Wi-sconsin?

This is so subtle that I don't know if I'm imagining it. I think I hear two different pronunciations of this word. Are these really distinguishable? Wikipedia says /wɪ ˈskɒnsɪn/, but their audio link ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
121 views

Moraic vs Non-Moraic Codas

What determines a coda to be moraic or non-moraic relative to stress? I am a little confused about this.
ddd's user avatar
  • 19
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can languages restrict their number of distinct syllables when written by syllabaries?

Disclaimer: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. From How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?, Yoon Mi Oh's thesis counted the ...
Puco4's user avatar
  • 299
13 votes
2 answers
6k views

How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?

Note: I am not a linguist, please provide any corrections for terminology. I would like to find some approximate data (if it exists) comparing several languages with the number of different syllables ...
Puco4's user avatar
  • 299
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

What is "metrically free elements"?

According to the Free Element Condition, only metrically free elements may undergo metrical construction. But what is "metrically free elements"?
ronghe's user avatar
  • 595
2 votes
1 answer
750 views

What is the difference between Minimal Onset Satisfaction and Onset Maximization Principle?

Since they both describe that onsets take priority over of codas, what is the difference between them?
ronghe's user avatar
  • 595
1 vote
2 answers
528 views

Considering the English language, is there only one way to divide a word in syllables?

I should do a words analysis. More specifically given a word I should split it into syllables and I was wondering if, given a word, there is only one syllables subdivision. This is because I have read ...
ersillabaro's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
379 views

Are the nasal portions of prenasalized consonants syllabic?

Prenasalized consonants occur in a number of natural languages. https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Prenasalized_consonant When I hear someone pronounce a word that begins with a prenasalized consonant, ...
James Grossmann's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
258 views

Does the analysis of syllables via mora imply that syllable duration is quantized?

From the wikipedia article: "The definition of a mora varies. In 1968, American linguist James D. McCawley defined it as "something of which a long syllable consists of two and a short syllable ...
Gus's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
4 answers
755 views

Source of syllable statistics of languages?

I wish to compare the syllable diversity and length distributiin of different languages. En-Fr to start with, phonetically even more than in writing. I want to check the theory that short word short ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
1k views

Does pre-fortis clipping only operate within a syllable? If not, what is its actual scope?

English is known to have a phenomenon of "pre-fortis clipping": in certain contexts, vowel and sonorant phonemes before a fortis/voiceless consonant are realized with shorter duration than the same ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
208 views

Who are the first theorists to represent syllable structure as a hierarchical branching structure?

I have attached an example of this structure for the word 'dream', from Blevins' chapter in the Handbook of Phonological Theory, 1995.
daisy's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
Yasuro's user avatar
  • 91
16 votes
1 answer
6k 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 "...
skedly's user avatar
  • 163
4 votes
2 answers
868 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, ...
mt.tread's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
311 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 ...
Alyssa Shurtz's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
548 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 ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 4,340
1 vote
2 answers
334 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), ...
Lance's user avatar
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