20 votes
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How to split IPA spelling into syllables

This is, in fact, possible! It's not trivial, but it is straightforward. Your goal seems to be to break an English word (written in phonemic IPA) into syllables. There's a bit of controversy about ...
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17 votes

Can we conclude that morpheme is ALWAYS greater than syllable?

In English, one counterexample is the very common '-ed’ (often /d/) ending: ‘filled’ is 1 syllable, and the morphemes are ‘fill’ + ‘-ed’ (/d/).
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17 votes
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How languages compare with the number of different syllables from all words?

Yoon Mi Oh's 2015 thesis (pages 44-45) provides estimates of the number of syllables for various languages, gathered by taking the 20,000 most frequent words in a corpus of each language and counting ...
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11 votes
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Correct syllabification in (American) English

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward syllabification method that is accepted by a majority of linguists. As you pointed out, different dictionaries provide different syllabification methods. ...
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9 votes

How many different distinctive sounds can an average human make?

The notion of 'distinctive' sounds indicates that the discussion must be limited to phoneme inventories found in a single language. To do this we can consider the largest known inventories of ...
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9 votes

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

No. The use of a ‘characters writing system’ (I take it you mean something not simply alphabetic) does not restrict the number of distinct syllables. Even if you look at Yoon Mi Oh's list there's no ...
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8 votes

Is syllable a phonetic or a phonological concept?

A syllable is a phonological unit. Native speakers of two different languages can hear the same stimulus as having different numbers of syllables if their respective phonologies have different ...
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8 votes
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liquids and nasals as syllable nuclei!

First off, phonetics is not about features, though often in introductory classes if you don't have separate courses on phonetics and phonology, phonetics gets lumped together with phonology. Second, ...
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8 votes
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The difference between a regular consonant and a syllabic consonant

One way to get a better grasp of the phonetics of syllabic consonants is to listen to a minimal pair in a language that has them, such as here. This is the pair [mbááŋgàà m̩̀bááŋgàà] (in that order) ...
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8 votes

The Theory Against Syllables

The claim that there are no syllables is based on the lack of evidence that the syllable is necessary, so this is an Occam’s Razor argument. If no language presents sufficient evidence that syllables ...
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8 votes

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

The first reason for [sɪŋ.ɪŋ] is the premise that [ŋ] only appears in the coda. The main argument for that conclusion is the analogy between word position and syllable position. Steriade has some ...
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8 votes
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How do you bound a syllable / split a word into syllables programmatically?

It's also a widely-held axiom in linguistics (phonology, specifically) that segments are always syllabified, in all languages. But that is not an empirically well-supported claim. There are certainly ...
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7 votes

Correct syllabification in (American) English

The dirty little secret of English is that syllable boundaries mostly do not matter (unlike other languages). What is important is the syllable nuclei which are easily identified either as the vowel ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Can a syllabic consonant exist between two vowels?

It is quite rare, but it arguably exists. Fante Akan has syllabic consonants which appear at ends pf words, preceded by a vowel. Such a word can be followed by a vowel-initial word, thus [ɔ̀pám̀ àtàŕ]...
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7 votes
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Are there any purely monosyllabic languages in use today?

The official Chinese language isn't "supposed to" be monosyllabic, at all. That's a misconception. Chinese languages are polysyllabic and that's it, including the putonghua standard (the pīnyīn ...
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7 votes

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

Terminologically, I think you are interested in the number of "distinct syllables" in a language. "Syllabic phoneme" means, approximately, "vowels", but also syllabic ...
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7 votes

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

There is a very good reason for thinking that this is coincidence. The reason is that a language has the same number of syllables whether it is written or not, and whether it is written with one form ...
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7 votes

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

In some cases, I do think there's a causal link here. However, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, and Thai have very different writing systems, so I wouldn't group them all together as "characters"....
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6 votes
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Are there any languages that only allow CV syllables?

Good question! I wasn't able to find any unambiguous examples either with a short search, and I found one source that says there are no known examples of languages with only CV syllables. ...
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6 votes

The difference between a regular consonant and a syllabic consonant

The question of "syllabicity" comes down to syllable structure. Every known language has some sort of prosodic unit that we can call a "syllable", usually (but not always!) smaller than a whole word ...
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6 votes
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Is there a "maximal coda principle"?

The quoted sentence from the Wikipedia article isn't very clear, and I wouldn't be confident that the author knew what they were talking about. Syllables and syllabification rules are very ...
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6 votes

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

It's a widely-held axiom in linguistics that syllabification is never phonemic. In other words, words aren't stored in your brain pre-broken-down into syllables; that syllabification happens later ...
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5 votes
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Cross-linguistically, how do syllabic consonants interact with morae?

Answers to your questions have to be prefaced with disclaimers about how one determines that something has a mora, or not -- phonology has embraced and eschewed the concept, and used it for all sorts ...
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5 votes

Is there a computational method to syllabify English words?

I looked at the SO discussion (and admit that I can't compute the consequences of all of the code). Those guys even admit that hyphenation solutions can't handle quasi-novel data (such as names of ...
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5 votes

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

The main fact that has to be accounted for is that many languages have phonological processes that distinguish heavy from light syllables, for example in Mongolian, stress is assigned to the first "...
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5 votes
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Which types of phonemes mark syllable boundaries?

Assuming you are using the CMU dictionary then each phoneme of type "vowel" indicates that there is a syllable. It won't tell you where the break is in a sequence of consonants, but it will (quickly) ...
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5 votes

liquids and nasals as syllable nuclei!

Liquids and nasals can sometimes be syllabic as well. (In fact, in Berber, even stops can be syllabic sometimes.) The more precise IPA symbols for these syllabic consonants add a vertical dot ...
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5 votes

The difference between a regular consonant and a syllabic consonant

There's a minimal pair in English: "Lightening" - to reduce weight, with a a syllabic 'n', and "Lightning" - electrical discharge. At least they are distinct when I say them.
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5 votes

Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

In essence, Swahili stress has two rules: If the word is shaped like NC(C*)V, the first nasal is syllabic, and stressed. (For example, ḿbwa "dog", ḿtu "person".) Otherwise, the stress is on the ...
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4 votes

How many different distinctive sounds can an average human make?

I do not know for an average person, but I can describe my own situation. Let's count how many phonemes I can recognize and produce. My native language is Russian, so my phonetics is based on that ...
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