What is syllable?

  • (noun): A unit of spoken language larger than a phoneme.
    Example: "The word 'pocket' has two syllables"


A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants).

Read more about Syllable.

Some articles on syllable:

Minor Syllable
... Minor syllable is a term used primarily in the description of Mon-Khmer languages, where a word typically consists of a reduced (minor) syllable followed by a full ... The minor syllable may be of the form /Cə/ or /CəN/, with a reduced vowel, as in colloquial Khmer, or of the form /CC/ with no vowel at all, as in Mlabri /kn̩diːŋ/ "navel" (minor syllable /kn̩/) and /br ... 'one and a half syllables'), a term coined by the American linguist James Matisoff in 1973 ...
Nucleus-less Syllables
... The notion of syllable is challenged by languages that allow long strings of consonants without any intervening vowel or sonorant ... have been parsed into 0, 2, 3, 5, or 6 syllables depending which analysis is used ... consider all vowel and consonants segments as syllable nuclei, another would consider only a small subset (fricatives or sibilants) as nuclei candidates, and another ...
Lojban Grammar - Orthography - Latin/Roman Mode
... may be applied to mark a non-standard stressed syllable as in cmene, but they are not considered separate lerfu ... Whether a single vowel or the entire syllable is capitalized is a matter of preference for example, the name "Josephine" can be rendered as either DJOzefin ... of Lojban stress will cause the 'ze' syllable to be stressed instead) ...
Late Middle Japanese - Phonology - Syllable Structure
... Traditionally syllables were of (C)V structure ... As such, there was no need to distinguish between syllables and morae ... This structure is (C)V(C) and is a syllable ...
Standard Chinese Phonology - Syllable Reduction
... When a syllable is unstressed, it not only loses its tone, but tenuis occlusives such as b d g z j become voiced (in pinyin, bb dd gg zz jj) and the vowel is reduced ... When the consonant of the unstressed syllable in a nasal or a fricative, the vowel (or entire rime) may be dropped altogether ... assimilation as well, which is seen even in unreduced syllables in quick speech (for example, in guǎmbō for guǎngbō 'broadcast') ...

Famous quotes containing the word syllable:

    Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    It was a purely wild and primitive American sound, as much as the barking of a chickaree, and I could not understand a syllable of it.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    He generally added the syllable um to his words when he could,—as paddlum, etc.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)