Ph3 Introduction To The SyllablePresentation Transcript
The English Syllable UBLAPH3 From Chapters 8 & 9 of Roach's English Phonetics & Phonology, & some excerpts from differen online sources, key word: Syllable
What is a syllable?
The number of beats in a word.
Parts of a word that are easy to count & number but difficult to define.
Any of the parts into which a word can be divided.
A part of a word consisting minimally of a vowel, with or without a consonant.
A part of a word which consists minimally of a vowel, which is called centre, with or without consonants at either end.
A part of a word which consists minimally of a vowel, which is called CENTRE, with or without consonants at the beginning, called ONSET, & with or without consonants at the end, called CODA.
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds that are sounded together to make up a word. It is typically composed of a centre or nucleus (most often a vowel) with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants), called onsets and codas respectively.
In other words…
The syllable is the basic unit of speech studied in both the phonetic and phonological levels of analysis.
No matter how easy it can be for people and even for children to count the number of syllables in a sequence in their native language, still there are no universally agreed upon phonetic definitions of what a syllable is
Phonetics Phonology Phonetics studies the way in which speech sounds are produced ( articulatory phonetics ) and perceived ( auditory phonetics ). Phonetics also deals with the physical properties of sounds ( Acoustic Phonetics ) The study of the sound system of a given language and the analysis and classification of its phonemes Spoken Language Phonemes: (linguistics) one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language
What's the importance of the syllable?
A syllable is said to be responsible for the rhytmic nature of English.
Syllables are often considered the phonological "building blocks" of words. They can influence the rhythm of a language, its prosody, its poetic meter, its stress patterns, etc
What's a syllable, phonetically speaking?
It is a sequence of speech sounds, consisting minimally of a central sound which is articulated with little or no obstruction, therefore sounding louder than any of the optional marginal sounds, which, if present, always have some degree of obstruction of the air passage, therefore sounding less loud than the centre.
Phonetically syllables are usually described as consisting of a centre which has little or no obstruction of the air flow and which sounds comparatively loud ; before an after that centre […] there will be greater obstruction to airflow and/or less loud sound. (Roach 2000: 70)
In the monosyllable CAT / , the vowel / is the centre at which little obstruction takes place.
We have complete obstruction to the airflow in the sorrounding plosives / and /
What is a syllable, phonologically speaking?
It is a sequence of speech sounds, that consists minimally of a vowel, with optional marginal consonants.
The number of marginal consonants in a syllable may range from none to 3 at the beginning or 4 at the end.
Words can be named according to the number of syllables they contain: monosyllabic, disyllabic, trisyllabic or polysyllabic. Sometimes "polysyllabic" is used to mean words of more than one syllable.
CENTRE OR NUCLEUS is the name given to the VOWEL sound in a syllable, which is obligatory in most languages
ONSET is the name given to the consonant sound or sounds at the beginning of a syllable.
CODA is the name given to the consonant sound or sounds at the end of a syllable
Both the onset & the coda are optional in English, but not in all languages.
Laver (1994: 114) defines the phonological syllable as a “complex unit made up of nuclear and marginal elements”.
Nuclear elements are the vowels or syllabic segments;
Marginal elements are the consonants or non-syllabic segments.
Analyse the word:
P A I N T
Diphthong / / Nuclear element Initial consonant / p / Marginal element Final cluster / nt / Marginal element
Attempts have been made yo provide physiological, acoustic or auditory explanations and definitions of the syllable. According to the Prominence Theory , for example, which is based mainly on auditory judgements , the number of syllables in a word is determined by the number of peaks of prominence .
In the word entertaining / the peaks of prominence are represented by the vowels / . However, this theory does not help much in discussion of syllable division.
Chest Pulse Theory
The chest pulse theory discusses the syllable in the context of muscular activities and lung movements in the process of speech. Experiments have shown that the number of chest pulses, accompanied by increase of air pressure can determine the number of syllables produced (Grimson, 1980: 56), thus allowing to associate the number of syllables with the number of chest pulses .
This approach, however, cannot account for cases when 2 vowels occur one after the other- for example in words like ‘ being’ or ‘ playing’ .
The second chest pulse might be almost irrelevant and and thus lead to erroneously , to the conclusion that such English words consist of only one syllable.
Another approach is presented by sonority theory, according to which the pulses of pulmonic air , stream in speech, corresponding to peaks in sonority (Giegerich, 1992: 132)
The sonority of a speech sound is discussed as its “relative loudness ”, compared to other sounds (op. Cit.) and each syllable correspond to a peak in the flow rate of pulmonic air.
Thus, nuclear elements, or syllabic segments can be described as intrinsically more sonorous than marginal, non-syllabic elements.
Speech sounds can be ranked in terms of their intrinsic sonority according to a sonority scale. The sonority scale is:
Voiced segments are more sonorous than voiceless ones.
Sonorants are more sonorous than obstruents .
Open vowels being more sonorous than close ones.
Hierarchical structure of the syllable .
What are the parts of a syllable?
The general structure of a syllable consists of the following segments:
Onset (obligatory in some languages, optional or even restricted in others)
Nucleus (obligatory in all languages)
Coda (optional in some languages, highly restricted or prohibited in others)
The syllable nucleus is typically a sonorant, usually a vowel sound, in the form of a monophthong, diphthong, or triphthong, but sometimes sonorant consonants like [l] or [r].
The syllable onset is the sound or sounds occurring before the nucleus, and the syllable coda (literally 'tail') is the sound or sounds that follow the nucleus.
The term rhyme covers the nucleus plus coda.
In the one-syllable English word cat, the nucleus is a, the onset c, the coda t, and the rhyme at. This syllable can be abstracted as a consonant-vowel-consonant syllable, abbreviated CVC, which is the most common combination in English.
What the parts of a syllable?
Generally, every syllable requires a nucleus.
Onsets are extremely common, and some languages require all syllables to have an onset. (That is, a CVC syllable like cat is possible, but a VC syllable such as at is not.)
A coda-less syllable of the form V, CV, CCV, etc. is called an open syllable, while a syllable that has a coda (VC, CVC, CVCC, etc.) is called a closed syllable (or checked syllable).
All languages allow open syllables, but some, such as Hawaiian, do not have closed syllables.
In other languages, including English, a consonant may be analyzed as acting simultaneously as the coda of one syllable and the onset of the following syllable, a phenomenon known as ambisyllabicity. Examples occurring in Received Pronunciation include words such as arrow ['ærəʊ], error ['erə], mirror ['mɪrə], borrow ['bɒrəʊ], burrow ['bʌrəʊ], which can't be divided into separately pronounceable syllables: neither [æ] nor [ær] is a possible independent syllable, and likewise with the other short vowels [e ɪ ɒ ʌ].
What the parts of a syllable? onset peak coda rhyme syllable
Syllables & Suprasegmental features
The domain of suprasegmental features is the syllable and not a specific sound, that is to say, they affect all the segments of a syllable:
Sometimes syllable length is also counted as a suprasegmental feature; for example, in most 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 germination and vowel length are independent.
Syllables and phonotactic constraints
Phonotactic rules determine which sounds are allowed or disallowed in each part of the syllable. 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, for example, only allows /n/ and a chroneme in a coda, and has no consonant clusters at all, as the onset is composed of at most one consonant.
There are languages that forbid empty onsets, such as Hebrew, Arabic, and many varieties of German (the names transliterated as "Israel", "Abraham", "Omar", "Ali" and "Abdullah", among many others, actually begin with semiconsonantic glides or with glottal or pharyngeal consonants).
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. However, 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.
Syllabification also describes the process of a consonant becoming a syllable nucleus.