Syllable Coda - Nucleus-less Syllables

Nucleus-less Syllables

The notion of syllable is challenged by languages that allow long strings of consonants without any intervening vowel or sonorant. Even in English there are a few para-verbal utterances that have no vowels; for example, shh (meaning "be quiet") and psst (a sound used to attract attention).

Languages of the Northwest coast of North America, including Salishan and Wakashan languages, are famous for this.

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 word would have been parsed into 0, 2, 3, 5, or 6 syllables depending which analysis is used. One analysis would consider all vowel and consonants 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.

This type of phenomenon has also been reported in Berber languages (such as Indlawn Tashlhiyt Berber), Moroccan Arabic (apparently under Berber influence), Mon–Khmer languages (such as Semai, Temiar, Kammu) and Ōgami (a Miyako Ryukyuan language).

Indlawn Tashlhiyt Berber
'you sprained it and then gave it'
'rot' (imperf.)
Semai
'short, fat arms'

Read more about this topic:  Syllable Coda

Other articles related to "syllable, syllables":

Syllable Rime - Nucleus-less Syllables
... The notion of syllable is challenged by languages that allow long strings of consonants without any intervening vowel or sonorant ... analyses, he finds that the word would have been parsed into 0, 2, 3, 5, or 6 syllables depending which analysis is used ... would consider all vowel and consonants 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 ...

Famous quotes containing the word syllables:

    This is the poem of the air,
    Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
    This is the secret of despair,
    Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
    Now whispered and revealed
    To wood and field.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1809–1882)