You are on page 1of 23

SYLLABLE

SYLLABLE STRUCTURE
Syllable
Syllable: group of speech sounds (group of segments)
 Syl – la – ble : 3
 ‘poetic’ : ?

 Syllable is determinant for stress assignment


 It is produced with one movement (a puff of air)
 Syllable is determined by one peak (most
prominent) in the flow rate of pulmonic air (pulse
theory)
 The pulse of the air stream corresponds to peaks in
sonority.
 The sonority of a sound is its relative loudness
compared to other sounds.
 Speech sound can be ranked in terms of their
relative sonority
Sonority scale
 Voiceless oral stops are minimal sonority.
 Low vowels have the highest degree of sonority.

Oral stops Fricatives Nasals Liquids Semi Vowels


vowels

-Voice +Voice -Voice +Voice HI GH


LOW

p b f v m
t d θ ð n j i a
k g s z ŋ l r w u ɑ

s o o r i t y
clamp
 /k/is less sonorous than /l/, which is less
sonorous than / æ /. / æ / is more sonorous
than /m/, which is more sonorous than the
final /p/
 Phonemic representation :

sonority

/ k l æ m p /
Andrew

Sonority

/ æ n d r u: /
aroma

Sonority

/ ә r o m ә /
English Syllables
 Constituent of the syllable (structure):
syllable

Onset Rhyme

Nucleus/Peak Coda
Constituents of the syllable
 Onse t refers to the opening segment of
a syllable.

 Rhyme : a term to cover the nucleus and


coda in the syllable

 Peak / Nucleus ( the main core; the most


prominent)
 Coda : the final, consonantal element of
the syllable
syllable
Nucleus (Peak):
The only compulsory (obligatory) part
most important unit is the
generally contain a vowel.
 Both onset and coda are optional
 Each, if filled, will contain one or more consonants.

 A syllable with a coda is called a closed syllable.


‘ bill ‘ / b ı l /
 A syllable without a coda is called an open syllable.
‘ be ‘ / b ı /

 The syllable consists of an obligatory vowel potentially


surrounded by consonants
 ‘thought’ has just three sounds – two consonants and a single
vowel / θ ɔ: t /.
Vowel and consonant structures for
English Syllables
V awe /ɔ:/
 CV saw /sɔ: /
 VC ought / ɔ:t /
 CVC soon /su:n/
 CVCC runs /rʌnz /
 CCV draw /drɔ: /
 CCVC drawn / drɔ:n /
 CCCVC straw / strɔ: /
 CCCVCCC strands /strændz /
 CCVCCCC glimpsed /glimpst /
syllable structure
 Words can be monosyllabic (e.g. saw,
ought, soon ) or polysyllabic (e.g. con-tain,
im-por-tant, en-vi-ron-ment )

 The structure of monosyllabic words:


 The peak of the sonority curve is the peak
(nucleus) of the syllable.
structure of monosyllabic words

Syl (σ)

Onset (On) Rhyme (Rh)

Peak(Pe) Coda (Co)

/ k l æ m p /
cat /kæt /
σ

On Rh

Pe Co

/ k æ t /
ill
Syl

onset Rhyme

Peak Coda

Ø / i l /
 She /ʃi/  She /ʃi/

σ σ

On Rh On Rh

Pe Co Pe

/ ʃ i / Ø / ʃ i /
 bee / b i: / bit /bi t /

Syl (σ) Syll (σ)

On Rh On Rh

Pe Pe Co

X X X X X X

/ b i: / / b i t /
fine / fain /
σ

On Rh

Pe Co

/ f a i n /
fill / f i l / feel / fi:l /
syl syl

onset rhyme onset rhyme

peak coda peak coda

X X X X X X X

/ f i l / / f i: l /
Polysyllabic word
campus / kæmpәs /
Syl Syl

Rh Rh

On Pe Co On Pe Co

X X X X X X

/ k æ m p ә s /
Polysyllabic word
 ‘aroma‘ /әrәumә/

Syl Syl Syl

Rhyme Rhyme Rhyme

Peak Onset Peak Onset Peak

X X X X X X

/ ә r ә u m ә /
ambisyllabicity
A consonant is ambisyllabic
if it is (part of) a permissible onset (cluster)
and if it immediately follows a stressed lax
vowel
The consonants in question do indeed belong
to both the preceding and the following
syllable.
They are syllabified ambiguously.
petrol / pe trәl /
syl syl

Rhyme Rhyme

Onset Peak Coda Onset Peak Coda

X X X X X X

/p e t r ә l /
‘ rubella ‘ /rubelә /
Syl Syl Syl

Rh Rh Rh

On Pe On Pe Co On Pe

X X X X X X

/ r u b e l ә /