In most theories of phonology, the general structure of a syllable (σ) consists of three segments:
- Onset (ω)
- consonant, obligatory in some languages, optional or even restricted in others
- Nucleus (ν)
- sonorant, obligatory in most languages
- Coda (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. However, in some traditional descriptions of certain languages, the syllable is considered left-branching, i.e. onset and nucleus group below a higher-level unit, called a "body" or "core":
- Rime (ρ)
- right branch, contrasts with onset, splits into nucleus and coda
- Body or core
- left branch, contrasts with coda, splits into onset and nucleus
In some theories the onset is strictly consonantal, thus necessitating another segment before the nucleus:
- Initial (ι)
- often termed onset, but leaving out semi-vowels
- Medial (μ)
- glide between initial, if any, and nucleus or rime
- Final (φ)
- contrasts with initial, extended rime
Although every syllable has supra-segmental features, these are usually ignored if not semantically relevant, e.g. in tonal languages.
- Tone (τ)
- may be carried by the syllable as a whole or by the rime
In some theories of phonology, these syllable structures are displayed as tree diagrams (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.
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.
Read more about this topic: Syllable Coda
Other articles related to "structure":
... Since the structure is cubic, as described below, the thermal contraction is isotropic - equal in all directions ... The structure of cubic zirconium tungstate consists of corner-sharing ZrO6 octahedral and WO4 tetrahedral structural units ... involve the coupled rotation of the polyhedral units that make up the structure, and lead to contraction ...
2 ... Loving-kindness living Boaz and Ruth are models of an altruism for which the word "loving-kindness" has been coined (approximately translating Hebrew hesed) ...
... The cover of each issue serves as the first panel to the story ... Gibbons said, "The cover of the Watchmen is in the real world and looks quite real, but it's starting to turn into a comic book, a portal to another dimension." The covers were designed as close-ups that focused on a single detail with no human elements present ...
... In terms of literary structure, Revelation consists of four visions, each involving John “seeing” the plan of God unveiled, with an epilogue that concludes the book ... In terms of content, the structure of Revelation is built around four successive groups of seven the messages to the seven churches the seven seals the seven trumpets and the seven ... and phrases of Revelation are organized as a chiastic structure, a literary device used frequently in the Old Testament ...
321 kinematic structure is a design method for robotic arms (serial manipulators), invented by Donald L ... robots, such as the PUMA, have a kinematic structure that deviates a little bit from the 321 structure ...
Famous quotes containing the word structure:
“What is the structure of government that will best guard against the precipitate counsels and factious combinations for unjust purposes, without a sacrifice of the fundamental principle of republicanism?”
—James Madison (17511836)
“Women over fifty already form one of the largest groups in the population structure of the western world. As long as they like themselves, they will not be an oppressed minority. In order to like themselves they must reject trivialization by others of who and what they are. A grown woman should not have to masquerade as a girl in order to remain in the land of the living.”
—Germaine Greer (b. 1939)
“Science is intimately integrated with the whole social structure and cultural tradition. They mutually support one otheronly in certain types of society can science flourish, and conversely without a continuous and healthy development and application of science such a society cannot function properly.”
—Talcott Parsons (19021979)