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A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
) with optional initial and final margins (typically,
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
s). Syllables are often considered the
phonological Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular language variety. At on ...

phonological
"building blocks" of words. They can influence the
rhythm Rhythm (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million a ...
of a language, its
prosody Prosody may refer to: * Sanskrit prosody, Prosody (Sanskrit), the study of poetic meters and verse in Sanskrit and one of the six Vedangas, or limbs of Vedic studies * Prosody (Greek), the theory and practice of Greek versification * Prosody (Lati ...
, its
poetic metre In poetry, metre (British English, Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American English, American spelling; see American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, spelling differences) is the basic rhythm, rhythmic structure of a verse (poet ...
and its stress patterns. Speech can usually be divided up into a whole number of syllables: for example, the word ''ignite'' is made of two syllables: ''ig'' and ''nite''.
Syllabic writing In the linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis includ ...
began several hundred years before the first letters. The earliest recorded syllables are on tablets written around 2800 BC in the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native (local, noble) lor ...

Sumer
ian city of
Ur
Ur
. This shift from
pictogram A pictogram, also called a pictogramme, pictograph, or simply picto, and in computer usage an icon An icon (from the Greek language, Greek 'image, resemblance') is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the ...

pictogram
s to syllables has been called "the most important advance in the
history of writing The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other markings and also the studies and descriptions of these developments. In the history of how writing systems have evolved in different human civilizations, ...
". A word that consists of a single syllable (like
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
''dog'') is called a monosyllable (and is said to be ''monosyllabic''). Similar terms include disyllable (and ''disyllabic''; also ''bisyllable'' and ''bisyllabic'') for a word of two syllables; trisyllable (and ''trisyllabic'') for a word of three syllables; and polysyllable (and ''polysyllabic''), which may refer either to a word of more than three syllables or to any word of more than one syllable.


Etymology

''Syllable'' is an
Anglo-NormanAnglo-Norman may refer to: *Anglo-Normans The Anglo-Normans ( nrf, Anglo-Normaunds, ang, Engel-Norðmandisca) were the medieval ruling class in England, composed mainly of a combination of ethnic Anglo-Saxons, Normans, Bretons, Flemish people, F ...
variation of
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
''sillabe'', from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
''syllaba'', from
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
''syllabḗ'' (). means "the taken together", referring to letters that are taken together to make a single sound. is a verbal noun from the verb ''syllambánō'', a compound of the preposition ''sýn'' "with" and the verb ''lambánō'' "take". The noun uses the
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large group ...
, which appears in the
aorist Aorist (; abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for exam ...
tense; the
present tense The present tense (abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...
stem is formed by adding a
nasal infix The nasal infix is a reconstructed nasal consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguis ...
' before the ''b'' and a
suffix In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
''-an'' at the end.


Transcription

In the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest seq ...
(IPA), the period marks syllable breaks, as in the word "astronomical" . In practice, however, IPA transcription is typically divided into words by spaces, and often these spaces are also understood to be syllable breaks. In addition, the stress mark is placed immediately before a stressed syllable, and when the stressed syllable is in the middle of a word, in practice, the stress mark also marks a syllable break, for example in the word "understood" (though the syllable boundary may still be explicitly marked with a full stop,P.J. Roach, Report on the 1989 Kiel Convention, ''Journal of the International Phonetic Association'', Vol. 19, No. 2 (December 1989), p. 75–76 e.g. ). When a word space comes in the middle of a syllable (that is, when a syllable spans words), a tie bar can be used for
liaison Liaison means communication between two or more groups, or co-operation or working together. Liaison or liaisons may refer to: General uses * Liaison (French) Liaison () is the pronunciation of a latent word-final consonant In articulator ...
, as in the French combination ''les amis'' . The liaison tie is also used to join lexical words into
phonological word The phonological word or prosodic word (also called pword, PrWd; symbolised as ω) is a constituent Constituent or constituency may refer to: In politics * Electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislativ ...
s, for example ''hot dog'' . A Greek sigma, , is used as a wild card for 'syllable', and a dollar/peso sign, , marks a syllable boundary where the usual period might be misunderstood. For example, is a pair of syllables, and is a syllable-final vowel.


Components


Typical model

In the typical theory of syllable structure, the general structure of a syllable (σ) consists of three segments. These segments are grouped into two components: ;
OnsetOnset may refer to: * Onset (audio), the beginning of a musical note or sound * Onset, Massachusetts, village in the United States **Onset Island (Massachusetts), a small island located at the western end of the Cape Cod Canal *Interonset interval, ...
(ω): a
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
or
consonant cluster In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the metho ...
, obligatory in some languages, optional or even restricted in others ;
Rime Rime may refer to: *Rime ice Rime ice forms when supercooled water liquid droplets freeze onto surfaces. Meteorology, Meteorologists distinguish between three basic types of ice forming on vertical and horizontal surfaces by deposition of superco ...
(ρ): right branch, contrasts with onset, splits into nucleus and coda :;
Nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
(ν): a
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
or
syllabic consonant A syllabic consonant or vocalic consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced wit ...
, obligatory in most languages :;
Coda Coda or CODA may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Coda'' (1987 film), an Australian horror film about a serial killer, made for television * ''Coda'' (2019 film), a Canadian drama film starring Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, a ...
(κ): consonant, optional in some languages, highly restricted or prohibited in others The syllable is usually considered right-branching, i.e. nucleus and coda are grouped together as a "rime" and are only distinguished at the second level. The ''nucleus'' is usually the vowel in the middle of a syllable. The ''onset'' is the sound or sounds occurring before the nucleus, and the ''coda'' (literally 'tail') is the sound or sounds that follow the nucleus. They are sometimes collectively known as the ''shell''. The term ''rime'' covers the nucleus plus coda. In the one-syllable English word ''cat'', the nucleus is ''a'' (the sound that can be shouted or sung on its own), the onset ''c'', the coda ''t'', and the rime ''at''. This syllable can be abstracted as a ''consonant-vowel-consonant'' syllable, abbreviated ''CVC''. Languages vary greatly in the restrictions on the sounds making up the onset, nucleus and coda of a syllable, according to what is termed a language's
phonotactics Phonotactics (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). A ...
. Although every syllable has supra-segmental features, these are usually ignored if not semantically relevant, e.g. in
tonal language Tone is the use of pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches tha ...
s. ;
Tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
(τ): may be carried by the syllable as a whole or by the rime


Chinese model

In
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
syllable structure, the onset is replaced with an initial, and a semivowel or liquid forms another segment, called the medial. These four segments are grouped into two slightly different components: ;
Initial In a written or published work, an initial or drop cap is a letter at the beginning of a word, a chapter (books), chapter, or a paragraph that is larger than the rest of the text. The word is derived from the Latin ''initialis'', which means ''sta ...
(ι): optional onset, excluding sonorants ;
Final Final, Finals or The Final may refer to: *Final (competition)The final of a competition is the match or round in which the winner of the entire event is decided. In sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activ ...
(φ): medial, nucleus, and final consonant :;
Medial Medial may refer to: Mathematics * Medial magma, a mathematical identity in algebra Geometry * Medial axis, in geometry the set of all points having more than one closest point on an object's boundary * Medial graph, another graph that repres ...
(μ): optional semivowel or liquid :;
Nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
(ν): a
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
or syllabic consonant :;
Coda Coda or CODA may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Coda'' (1987 film), an Australian horror film about a serial killer, made for television * ''Coda'' (2019 film), a Canadian drama film starring Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, a ...
(κ): optional final consonant In many languages of the
Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area The Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area is a sprachbund A sprachbund (, lit. "language federation"), also known as a linguistic area, area of linguistic convergence, diffusion area or language crossroads, is a group of language A languag ...
, such as
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
, the syllable structure is expanded to include an additional, optional segment known as a medial, which is located between the onset (often termed the ''initial'' in this context) and the rime. The medial is normally a
semivowel In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. T ...
, but reconstructions of
Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It i ...
generally include
liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics Fluid mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the mechanics Mechanics (Ancient Greek, Greek: ) is the area of physics concerned with the motions of physical objects, ...
medials ( in modern reconstructions, in older versions), and many reconstructions of
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country ...
include a medial contrast between and , where the functions phonologically as a glide rather than as part of the nucleus. In addition, many reconstructions of both Old and Middle Chinese include complex medials such as , , and . The medial groups phonologically with the rime rather than the onset, and the combination of medial and rime is collectively known as the final. Some linguists, especially when discussing the modern Chinese varieties, use the terms "final" and "rime/rhyme" interchangeably. In
historical Chinese phonology Historical Chinese phonology deals with reconstructing the sounds of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries ...
, however, the distinction between "final" (including the medial) and "rime" (not including the medial) is important in understanding the rime dictionaries and
rime tableA rime table or rhyme table () is a Chinese phonological Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to ...
s that form the primary sources for
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country ...
, and as a result most authors distinguish the two according to the above definition.


Grouping of components

In some theories of phonology, syllable structures are displayed as
tree diagrams Tree diagram may refer to: * Tree structure, a way of representing the hierarchical nature of a structure in a graphical form Mathematics and logic * Tree diagram (probability theory), a diagram to represent a probability space in probability the ...
(similar to the trees found in some types of syntax). Not all phonologists agree that syllables have internal structure; in fact, some phonologists doubt the existence of the syllable as a theoretical entity. There are many arguments for a hierarchical relationship, rather than a linear one, between the syllable constituents. One hierarchical model groups the syllable nucleus and coda into an intermediate level, the ''rime''. The hierarchical model accounts for the role that the ''nucleus''+''coda'' constituent plays in verse (i.e., rhyming words such as ''cat'' and ''bat'' are formed by matching both the nucleus and coda, or the entire rime), and for the distinction between heavy and light syllables, which plays a role in phonological processes such as, for example,
sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for ...
in
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
''scipu'' and ''wordu''.


Body

In some traditional descriptions of certain languages such as
Cree The Cree ( cr, Néhinaw, script=Latn, , etc.; french: link=no, Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canad ...

Cree
and
Ojibwe The Ojibwe, Ojibwa, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe The Anishinaabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples resident in what are now called Canada and the United States. They include the Odawa, Saulteaux, Ojibwe (inc ...
, the syllable is considered left-branching, i.e. onset and nucleus group below a higher-level unit, called a "body" or "core". This contrasts with the coda.


Rime

The rime or rhyme of a syllable consists of a
nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
and an optional
coda Coda or CODA may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Coda'' (1987 film), an Australian horror film about a serial killer, made for television * ''Coda'' (2019 film), a Canadian drama film starring Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, a ...
. It is the part of the syllable used in most poetic rhymes, and the part that is lengthened or stressed when a person elongates or stresses a word in speech. The rime is usually the portion of a syllable from the first
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
to the end. For example, is the rime of all of the words ''at'', ''sat'', and ''flat''. However, the nucleus does not necessarily need to be a vowel in some languages. For instance, the rime of the second syllables of the words ''bottle'' and ''fiddle'' is just , a
liquid consonant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. Th ...
. Just as the rime branches into the nucleus and coda, the nucleus and coda may each branch into multiple
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
s. The limit for the number of phonemes which may be contained in each varies by language. For example,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
and most
Sino-Tibetan languages Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationsh ...

Sino-Tibetan languages
do not have consonant clusters at the beginning or end of syllables, whereas many Eastern European languages can have more than two consonants at the beginning or end of the syllable. In English, the onset, nucleus, and coda may all have two phonemes, as in the word ''flouts'': lin the onset, the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
ʊin the nucleus, and
s
s
in the coda. ''Rime'' and ''rhyme'' are variants of the same word, but the rarer form ''rime'' is sometimes used to mean specifically ''syllable rime'' to differentiate it from the concept of poetic
rhyme A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds (usually, exactly the same sound) in the final stressed syllables and any following syllables of two or more words. Most often, this kind of perfect rhyming is consciously used for a musical or aesthetic e ...
. This distinction is not made by some linguists and does not appear in most dictionaries.


Weight

A heavy syllable is generally one with a ''branching rime'', i.e. it is either a ''closed syllable'' that ends in a consonant, or a syllable with a ''branching nucleus'', i.e. a long vowel or
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
. The name is a metaphor, based on the nucleus or coda having lines that branch in a tree diagram. In some languages, heavy syllables include both VV (branching nucleus) and VC (branching rime) syllables, contrasted with V, which is a light syllable. In other languages, only VV syllables are considered heavy, while both VC and V syllables are light. Some languages distinguish a third type of superheavy syllable, which consists of VVC syllables (with both a branching nucleus and rime) or VCC syllables (with a coda consisting of two or more consonants) or both. In moraic theory, heavy syllables are said to have two moras, while light syllables are said to have one and superheavy syllables are said to have three.
Japanese phonology The phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular lan ...
is generally described this way. Many languages forbid superheavy syllables, while a significant number forbid any heavy syllable. Some languages strive for constant syllable weight; for example, in stressed, non-final syllables in
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
, short vowels co-occur with closed syllables while long vowels co-occur with open syllables, so that all such syllables are heavy (not light or superheavy). The difference between heavy and light frequently determines which syllables receive stress – this is the case in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, for example. The system of
poetic meter In poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre (poetry), ...
in many classical languages, such as
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
,
Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestur ...
,
Old Tamil Old Tamil is the period of the Tamil language Tamil (; ' , ) is a Dravidian language natively spoken by the Tamil people of South Asia. Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as well as two sovereign nations ...

Old Tamil
and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
, is based on syllable weight rather than stress (so-called ''quantitative rhythm'' or ''quantitative meter'').


Syllabification

Syllabification is the separation of a word into syllables, whether spoken or written. In most languages, the actually spoken syllables are the basis of syllabification in writing too. Due to the very weak correspondence between sounds and letters in the spelling of modern English, for example, written syllabification in English has to be based mostly on etymological i.e. morphological instead of phonetic principles. English written syllables therefore do not correspond to the actually spoken syllables of the living language. Phonotactic rules determine which sounds are allowed or disallowed in each part of the syllable.
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
allows very complicated syllables; syllables may begin with up to three consonants (as in ''string'' or ''splash''), and occasionally end with as many as four (as in ''prompts''). Many other languages are much more restricted;
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
, for example, only allows and a
chroneme In linguistics, a chroneme is a basic, theoretical unit of sound that can distinguish words by duration only of a vowel or consonant. The noun ''chroneme'' is derived from Greek χρόνος (chrónos, ''time''), and the suffixed ''-eme'', which ...
in a coda, and theoretically has no consonant clusters at all, as the onset is composed of at most one consonant. The linking of a word-final consonant to a vowel beginning the word immediately following it forms a regular part of the phonetics of some languages, including Spanish, Hungarian, and Turkish. Thus, in Spanish, the phrase los hombres ('the men') is pronounced oˈsom.bɾes Hungarian az ember ('the human') as ˈzɛm.bɛr and Turkish nefret ettim ('I hated it') as ef.ɾeˈtet.tim In Italian, a final
j
j
sound can be moved to the next syllable in enchainement, sometimes with a gemination: e.g., non ne ho mai avuti ('I've never had any of them') is broken into syllables as on.neˈɔ.ma.jaˈvuːtiand io ci vado e lei anche ('I go there and she does as well') is realized as o.tʃiˈvaːdo.e.lɛjˈjaŋ.ke A related phenomenon, called consonant mutation, is found in the Celtic languages like Irish and Welsh, whereby unwritten (but historical) final consonants affect the initial consonant of the following word.


Ambisyllabicity

There can be disagreement about the location of some divisions between syllables in spoken language. The problems of dealing with such cases have been most commonly discussed with relation to English. In the case of a word such as "hurry", the division may be or , neither of which seems a satisfactory analysis for a non-rhotic accent such as RP (British English): results in a syllable-final , which is not normally found, while gives a syllable-final short stressed vowel, which is also non-occurring. Arguments can be made in favour of one solution or the other: Wells (2002) proposes a general rule that "Subject to certain conditions ..., consonants are syllabified with the more strongly stressed of two flanking syllables", while many other phonologists prefer to divide syllables with the consonant or consonants attached to the following syllable wherever possible. However, an alternative that has received some support is to treat an intervocalic consonant as ''ambisyllabic'', i.e. belonging both to the preceding and to the following syllable: . This is discussed in more detail in .


Onset

The onset (also known as anlaut) is the consonant sound or sounds at the beginning of a syllable, occurring before the
nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
. Most syllables have an onset. Syllables without an onset may be said to have a ''
zero 0 (zero) is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in languag ...
onset'' – that is, nothing where the onset would be.


Onset cluster

Some languages restrict onsets to be only a single consonant, while others allow multiconsonant onsets according to various rules. For example, in English, onsets such as ''pr-'', ''pl-'' and ''tr-'' are possible but ''tl-'' is not, and ''sk-'' is possible but ''ks-'' is not. In
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, however, both ''ks-'' and ''tl-'' are possible onsets, while contrarily in
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, ...
no multiconsonant onsets are allowed at all.


Null onset

Some languages forbid null onsets. In these languages, words beginning in a vowel, like the English word ''at'', are impossible. This is less strange than it may appear at first, as most such languages allow syllables to begin with a phonemic
glottal stop
glottal stop
(the sound in the middle of English "uh-oh" or, in some dialects, the double T in "button", represented in the
IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script Latin script, also ...
as ). In English, a word that begins with a vowel may be pronounced with an
epenthetic In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular language variety. At one t ...
glottal stop when following a pause, though the glottal stop may not be a
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
in the language. Few languages make a phonemic distinction between a word beginning with a vowel and a word beginning with a glottal stop followed by a vowel, since the distinction will generally only be audible following another word. However,
Maltese Maltese may refer to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to Malta * Maltese alphabet * Maltese cuisine * Maltese culture * Maltese language, the Semitic language spoken by Maltese people * Maltese people, people from Malta or of Maltese ...
and some
Polynesian languages The Polynesian languages form a genealogical group of languages, itself part of the Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also cal ...

Polynesian languages
do make such a distinction, as in
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
"fire" and / ← /kahi/ "tuna" and Maltese /∅/ ←
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
/h/ and Maltese /k~ʔ/ ← Arabic /q/.
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
(in theory ) and Arabic forbid empty onsets. The names ''Israel'', ''Abel'', ''Abraham'', ''Omar'', ''Abdullah'', and ''Iraq'' appear not to have onsets in the first syllable, but in the original Hebrew and Arabic forms they actually begin with various consonants: the semivowel in ''yisrāʔēl'', the glottal fricative in ''heḅel'', the glottal stop in ''ʔaḅrāhām'', or the pharyngeal fricative in ''ʕumar'', ''ʕabduḷḷāh'', and ''ʕirāq''. Conversely, the
Arrernte language Arrernte or Aranda (; ) or sometimes referred to as Upper Arrernte (Upper Aranda), is a dialect cluster in the Arandic language group spoken in parts of the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory ...
of central Australia may prohibit onsets altogether; if so, all syllables have the underlying shape VC(C). The difference between a syllable with a null onset and one beginning with a glottal stop is often purely a difference of
phonological Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular language variety. At on ...

phonological
analysis, rather than the actual pronunciation of the syllable. In some cases, the pronunciation of a (putatively) vowel-initial word when following another word – particularly, whether or not a glottal stop is inserted – indicates whether the word should be considered to have a null onset. For example, many
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...

Romance languages
such as
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
never insert such a glottal stop, while
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
does so only some of the time, depending on factors such as conversation speed; in both cases, this suggests that the words in question are truly vowel-initial. But there are exceptions here, too. For example, standard
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
(excluding many southern accents) and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
both require that a glottal stop be inserted between a word and a following, putatively vowel-initial word. Yet such words are said to begin with a vowel in German but a glottal stop in Arabic. The reason for this has to do with other properties of the two languages. For example, a glottal stop does not occur in other situations in German, e.g. before a consonant or at the end of word. On the other hand, in Arabic, not only does a glottal stop occur in such situations (e.g. Classical "he asked", "opinion", "light"), but it occurs in alternations that are clearly indicative of its phonemic status (cf. Classical "writer" vs. /mak "written", "eater" vs. "eaten"). The writing system of a language may not correspond with the phonological analysis of the language in terms of its handling of (potentially) null onsets. For example, in some languages written in the
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
, an initial glottal stop is left unwritten; on the other hand, some languages written using non-Latin alphabets such as
abjad An abjad () is a type of writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to th ...

abjad
s and
abugida An abugida (, from Ge'ez language, Ge'ez: አቡጊዳ), sometimes known as alphasyllabary, neosyllabary or pseudo-alphabet, is a segmental Writing systems#Segmental writing system, writing system in which consonant-vowel sequences are writt ...
s have a special
zero consonant In orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the ...
to represent a null onset. As an example, in
Hangul The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, . Hangul may also be written as following South Korea's . in and Chosŏn'gŭl in , is a writing system for the created by King in 1443. The letters for the five basic s reflect the shape of the speec ...

Hangul
, the alphabet of the
Korean language Korean ( , ''hangugeo''; , ''chosŏnmal'') is an East Asian language spoken by about 80 million people, mainly Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * K ...
, a null onset is represented with ㅇ at the left or top section of a
grapheme In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...

grapheme
, as in 역 "station", pronounced ''yeok'', where the
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
''yeo'' is the nucleus and ''k'' is the coda.


Nucleus

The ''nucleus'' is usually the vowel in the middle of a syllable. Generally, every syllable requires a nucleus (sometimes called the ''peak''), and the minimal syllable consists only of a nucleus, as in the English words "eye" or "owe". The syllable nucleus is usually a vowel, in the form of a
monophthong A monophthong ( ; , ) is a pure vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writ ...
,
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
, or
triphthong In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical p ...
, but sometimes is a
syllabic consonant A syllabic consonant or vocalic consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced wit ...
. In most
Germanic language The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...
s, lax vowels can occur only in closed syllables. Therefore, these vowels are also called checked vowels, as opposed to the tense vowels that are called ''free vowels'' because they can occur even in open syllables.


Consonant nucleus

The notion of syllable is challenged by languages that allow long strings of obstruents without any intervening vowel or sonorant. By far the most common syllabic consonants are sonorants like , , , or , as in English ''bottle'', ''church'' (in rhotic accents), ''rhythm'', ''button'' and ''lock n key''. However, English allows syllabic obstruents in a few para-verbal Onomatopoeia, onomatopoeic utterances such as ''shh'' (used to command silence) and ''psst'' (used to attract attention). All of these have been analyzed as phonemically syllabic. Obstruent-only syllables also occur phonetically in some prosodic situations when unstressed vowels elide between obstruents, as in ''potato'' and ''today'' , which do not change in their number of syllables despite losing a syllabic nucleus. A few languages have so-called ''syllabic fricatives'', also known as ''fricative vowels'', at the phonemic level. (In the context of Standard Chinese phonology, Chinese phonology, the related but non-synonymous term ''apical vowel'' is commonly used.) Mandarin Chinese is famous for having such sounds in at least some of its dialects, for example the pinyin syllables ''sī shī rī'', sometimes pronounced respectively. Though, like the nucleus of rhotic English ''church'', there is debate over whether these nuclei are consonants or vowels. Languages of the northwest coast of North America, including Salishan languages, Salishan, Wakashan languages, Wakashan and Chinookan languages, Chinookan languages, allow stop consonants and voiceless fricatives as syllables at the phonemic level, in even the most careful enunciation. An example is Chinook 'those two women are coming this way out of the water'. Linguists have analyzed this situation in various ways, some arguing that such syllables have no nucleus at all and some arguing that the concept of "syllable" cannot clearly be applied at all to these languages. Other examples: ; Nuxálk language, Nuxálk (Bella Coola) : 'you spat on me' : 'he arrived' : 'he had in his possession a bunchberry plant' : 'seal blubber' In Bagemihl's survey of previous analyses, he finds that the Bella Coola word 'he arrived' would have been parsed into 0, 2, 3, 5, or 6 syllables depending on which analysis is used. One analysis would consider all vowel and consonant segments as syllable nuclei, another would consider only a small subset (fricatives or sibilants) as nuclei candidates, and another would simply deny the existence of syllables completely. However, when working with recordings rather than transcriptions, the syllables can be obvious in such languages, and native speakers have strong intuitions as to what the syllables are. This type of phenomenon has also been reported in Berber languages (such as Indlawn Tashlhiyt Berber), Mon–Khmer languages (such as Semai language, Semai, Temiar language, Temiar, Khmu language, Khmu) and the Ōgami dialect of Miyako language, Miyako, a Ryukyuan languages, Ryukyuan language. ; Indlawn Tashlhiyt Berber : 'you sprained it and then gave it' : 'rot' (imperf.) ; Semai : 'short, fat arms'


Coda

The coda (also known as auslaut) comprises the
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
sounds of a syllable that follow the
nucleus ''Nucleus'' (plural nuclei) is a Latin word for the seed inside a fruit. It most often refers to: *Atomic nucleus, the very dense central region of an atom *Cell nucleus, a central organelle of a eukaryotic cell, containing most of the cell's DNA ...
. The sequence of nucleus and coda is called a #Rime, rime. Some syllables consist of only a nucleus, only an onset and a nucleus with no coda, or only a nucleus and coda with no onset. The
phonotactics Phonotactics (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). A ...
of many languages forbid syllable codas. Examples are Swahili language, Swahili and
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
. In others, codas are restricted to a small subset of the consonants that appear in onset position. At a phonemic level in
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of J ...

Japanese
, for example, a coda may only be a nasal (homorganic with any following consonant) or, in the middle of a word, gemination of the following consonant. (On a phonetic level, other codas occur due to elision of /i/ and /u/.) In other languages, nearly any consonant allowed as an onset is also allowed in the coda, even consonant cluster, clusters of consonants. In English, for example, all onset consonants except are allowed as syllable codas. If the coda consists of a consonant cluster, the sonority typically decreases from first to last, as in the English word ''help''. This is called the sonority hierarchy (or sonority scale). English onset and coda clusters are therefore different. The onset in ''strengths'' does not appear as a coda in any English word. However, some clusters do occur as both onsets and codas, such as in ''stardust''. The sonority hierarchy is more strict in some languages and less strict in others.


Open and closed

A coda-less syllable of the form V, CV, CCV, etc. (V = vowel, C = consonant) is called an open syllable or free syllable, while a syllable that has a coda (VC, CVC, CVCC, etc.) is called a closed syllable or checked syllable. Note that they have nothing to do with open vowel, open and close vowels, but are defined according to the phoneme that ends the syllable: a vowel (open syllable) or a consonant (closed syllable). Almost all languages allow open syllables, but some, such as
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
, do not have closed syllables. When a syllable is not the last syllable in a word, the nucleus normally must be followed by two consonants in order for the syllable to be closed. This is because a single following consonant is typically considered the onset of the following syllable. For example, Spanish ''casar'' "to marry" is composed of an open syllable followed by a closed syllable (''ca-sar''), whereas ''cansar'' "to get tired" is composed of two closed syllables (''can-sar''). When a geminate (double) consonant occurs, the syllable boundary occurs in the middle, e.g. Italian ''panna'' "cream" (''pan-na''); cf. Italian ''pane'' "bread" (''pa-ne''). English words may consist of a single closed syllable, with nucleus denoted by ν, and coda denoted by κ: *i''n'': ν = , κ = *cu''p'': ν = , κ = *ta''ll'': ν = , κ = *mi''lk'': ν = , κ = *ti''nts'': ν = , κ = *fi''fths'': ν = , κ = *si''xths'': ν = , κ = *twe''lfths'': ν = , κ = *stre''ngths'': ν = , κ = English words may also consist of a single open syllable, ending in a nucleus, without a coda: *glue, ν = *pie, ν = *though, ν = *boy, ν = A list of examples of syllable codas in English is found at English_phonology#Coda.


Null coda

Some languages, such as Hawaiian phonology#Phonotactics, Hawaiian, forbid codas, so that all syllables are open.


Suprasegmental features

The domain of Suprasegmental, suprasegmental features is the syllable and not a specific sound, that is to say, they affect all the segments of a syllable: *Lexical stress, Stress *
Tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
* *Palatalization (phonetics)#Types, Suprasegmental palatalization Sometimes syllable length is also counted as a suprasegmental feature; for example, in some Germanic languages, long vowels may only exist with short consonants and vice versa. However, syllables can be analyzed as compositions of long and short phonemes, as in Finnish and Japanese, where consonant gemination and vowel length are independent.


Tone

In most languages, the pitch or pitch contour in which a syllable is pronounced conveys shades of meaning such as emphasis or surprise, or distinguishes a statement from a question. In tonal languages, however, the pitch affects the basic lexical meaning (e.g. "cat" vs. "dog") or grammatical meaning (e.g. past vs. present). In some languages, only the pitch itself (e.g. high vs. low) has this effect, while in others, especially East Asian languages such as
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
, Thai language, Thai or Vietnamese language, Vietnamese, the shape or contour (e.g. level vs. rising vs. falling) also needs to be distinguished.


Accent

Syllable structure often interacts with stress or pitch accent. In
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
, for example, stress is regularly determined by syllable weight, a syllable counting as heavy if it has at least one of the following: * a long vowel in its Syllable nucleus, nucleus * a
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
in its nucleus * one or more Syllable coda, codas In each case the syllable is considered to have two Mora (linguistics), morae. The first syllable of a word is the initial syllable and the last syllable is the final syllable. In languages accented on one of the last three syllables, the last syllable is called the Ultima (linguistics), ultima, the next-to-last is called the penult, and the third syllable from the end is called the antepenult. These terms come from Latin ' "last", ' "almost last", and ' "before almost last". In Ancient Greek, there are three Greek diacritics, accent marks (acute, circumflex, and grave), and terms were used to describe words based on the position and type of accent. Some of these terms are used in the description of other languages.


History

Guilhem Molinier, a member of the Consistori del Gay Saber, which was the first literary academy in the world and held the Floral Games to award the best troubadour with the ''violeta d'aur'' top prize, gave a definition of the syllable in his ''Leys d'amor'' (1328–1337), a book aimed at regulating then-flourishing Occitan language, Occitan poetry:


See also

*English phonology#Phonotactics. Covers syllable structure in English. *Entering tone *International Phonetic Alphabet#Suprasegmentals, IPA symbols for syllables *Line (poetry) *List of the longest English words with one syllable *Minor syllable *Mora (linguistics) *Phonology *Pitch accent *Stress (linguistics) *Syllabary writing system *Syllabic consonant *Syllabification *Syllable (computing) *Timing (linguistics)


References


Sources and recommended reading

* * George N. Clements, Clements, George N.; Samuel Jay Keyser, Keyser, Samuel J.. (1983). ''CV phonology: A generative theory of the syllable''. Linguistic inquiry monographs (No. 9). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (pbk); (hb) * * * *


External links


Syllable Dictionary: Look up the number of syllables in a word. Learn to divide into syllables. Hear it pronounced.

Do syllables have internal structure? What is their status in phonology? CUNY Phonology Forum

Syllable Word Counter A comprehensive database of words and their syllables

Syllable drill. Listen to syllables and select its representation in Latin letters

Syllable counter: Count the number of syllables for any word or sentence.
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