Nature, structure of english syllables


Question: Express the nature and the structure of English syllables


The nature of English syllable:

Phonetically (that is in relation to the way we produce them and the way they sound ], syllables are usually described as consisting of a center which had little or no obstruction to the air-stream and which sound comparatively loud, before and after this center (that is at the beginning and at the end of the syllable) there will be a greater obstruction to the air-stream and or less loud sound.

– Minimum syllable (would be a single vowel in isolation) like: [ʌ, ə:, ɑ: ] these are preceded and followed by silent isolated sounds such as : [m] sometimes indicate agreement or [ʃ ] to ask for silent must also be regarded as syllable.

– Some syllables may have an “onset” that is they have more than just silent preceding the center of the syllable, VD: bar [ bɑː] ; key [ kiː] ; more [ mɔː ]

– Syllable may have no onset but have a coda VD: am [æm];ought [ɔːt] ; ease [iːz]

– Some syllables have onset and coda: run [ rʌn ] ; sat [ sæt]

Phonologically, It is simplest to start by looking at what can occur in initial position (what can occur at the beginning of the first word when we begin to speak after the pause).

– The word can begin with the vowel or with one, two, or three consonants. No words begin with more than three consonants

– Words can end with a vowel or with one, two, three or four ( in a small number of case) consonants

– No words end with more than 4 consonants

– Syllable never ending with one or of these vowels: [ɪ, æ, e, ʌ, ɔ ] except [ə] VD: better [betə]. So syllable with a short vowel plus no coda don’t occur in English. The syllable are known as the rhythm / rhyme , which is divided into the peak(vowel) and the coda(consonants):

A. Initial consonant clusters:

We now look at the syllable beginning with two consonants (when we have two or more consonants together we call them a consonant cluster)

1. Initial two-consonant clusters are of two sorts in English:

(a.) [ s + one consonant]:

More examples: Study, stubborn, style, swallow, sweet, switch, small, smell, smoke, smart, smile, snick, snub, snore, snog, skill, sky, skirt, skive, skin, scale, scandal, Scandinavia, scar, space, spare, speak, special, spectacular, speed, splendid.

(b) [ One consonant + l  r  w  j  ]

VD : play [ pleɪ] ; try [ traɪ ] ; quick [ kwɪk]

We call the first consonant of these clusters the initial consonant and the second the post initial consonant

2. We now look at three-consonant clusters at the beginning:

VD: Stream [ striːm] ; square [ skweə ] ; split [ splɪt ]

In which, [s] is the pre-initial consonant, [ p t k ] follow [ s ] is initial consonant and the third consonant [ r w l ] is called post-initial consonant

Look at the table below:

Further example: Spray, sclerosis, splay, string, screen, squeak, spew, stew, skewer…

B. Final consonant cluster

We now look at the final consonant clusters

Notes: These consonants: [ h w r j ] can not be final but they usually stand at the beginning and they are syllabic consonants

– We have two sorts of two-consonant final clusters

1. Pre-final consonant + final consonant

2. Final consonant + post-final consonant

Some post-final consonants are popular: t d s z θ

Some pre-final consonants [m n l s ŋ] VD: bumb [ bʌmb ]

Some final consonants are : [ f t k p d ɡ ] VD: bank [ bæŋk]; backed[ bækt] ; bagged   [ bægd]

Notes: These post-final consonants are often be identified as separated morpheme.

– We also have two sorts of three-consonant final clusters

(a) pre-final + final + post-final

VD: helped [ helpt] , banks [ bæŋks] , bonds [ bɔndz] , twelve [ twelfθ]

(b) final + post-final (1) + post-final (2)

VD: Fifths [ fɪfθs ] ; next [ nekst ] ; lapsed [ læpst ]

– Most four-consonant clusters follow these rule:

Pre-final + final + post-final(1) + post-final (2)

VD: Twelfths [ twelfθs] , prompts[prɔmpts]

Notes: a small number of cases seem to require different analysis as consisting of a final consonant with no pre-final but three post-finals

VD: Sixths [ sɪksθs ], texts [ teksts]

– Final matter:

The rhyme [raɪm] ( vần) khác với rhythm [rɪðəm] (nhịp)

The rhyme is divided into the peak (the vowel) and the coda (the consonant)./.

Facebook Comments

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!