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A syllable is a sequence of speech sounds (formed from vowels and consonants) organized into a single unit. Syllables act as the building blocks of a spoken word, determining the pace and rhythm of how the word is pronounced.
The three structural elements of a syllable are the nucleus, the onset, and the coda.
Syllables can be structured several ways, but they always contain a nucleus, which is (usually) formed from a vowel sound. The nucleus is the core of the syllable, indicating its individual “beat” within a word; the number of syllables in a word will be determined by the number of vowel sounds forming their nuclei.
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the minimal articulated unit of speech, consisting of one or several sounds that form a compact phonetic entity and that occur during one chest pulse. Proponents of various theories concerning the syllable believe that a syllable is produced by one muscular contraction, by modulation (narrowing and widening) of the pharynx, or by the degree of sonority and the order in which sounds are uttered.

A syllable is composed of a beginning (onset), a peak (nucleus), and a final part (coda). A peak is formed by simple vowels (ma-ma), by sonorants in some languages (Czech prst, “finger”), and occasionally by obstruents (psst!). A syllable’s beginning and end are formed by one or more consonants; in some languages a syllable may consist only of a peak (o-ni, “they”). Syllables are closed when they end in a consonant and open when they end in a vowel. They are uncovered when they begin with a vowel and covered when they begin with a consonant. The commonest syllable structure, found in all languages of the world, is consonant followed by vowel.

Division into syllables often does not correspond to division into morphemes. In the word ruchka (“handle”), morphemes for example, there are two syllables (ru-chka) but three morphemes (ruch-k-a). In syllabic languages, such as Chinese, morphemes are generally monosyllabic and syllable and morpheme boundaries coincide. In such languages, the beginning of a syllable is contrasted to its end, which is limited to certain permissible sounds.


References in periodicals archive ?
Investigation of the structure of Estonian trisyllabic words revealed that three contrastive consonant quantities occurring in disyllabic words do not occur between the second and third syllable in trisyllabic words (Lehiste 1997).
Women," on the other hand, is disyllabic and is stressed on its first syllable.
9) The rhyme of the disyllabic lines echoes the last word in the preceding line and in doing so creates surprising combinations of words that have no logical connection with one another.
Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh - actually his Vietnamese first name is the disyllabic Quang-Ngoc (Shining Gem), brutally broken up by ignorant Immigration and Naturalization Service clerks - is one of the seventeen children of the Huynh clan in a Mekong Delta village.
This idea of harmony seems even more clear with disyllabic or "feminine" endings: "faces/houses" is more appealing than "faces/places"; "flavor/quiver" has more interest than "flavor/savor" or "giver/quiver.
Finally, there are tables of miscellaneous items, such as instances of pleonastic "do" (as in "I do fear it," rather than "I fear it"), "-eth" and syllabic "-ed," disyllabic "-ion," grammatical inversions, run-on lines, simple and compound feminine endings, and alliteration.
The main results concerning the length of vowels in non-initial syllables are (Ariste 1942 : 45-47): a) in disyllabic words with a short initial syllable the second vowel is longer than the first; (7) the vowel of the second syllable is longer in open syllables than in closed (the average length is 146.
Its trisyllabic length is also suspicious and tells us that if it is not a loan, then there are good chances that it is a compound, since most Japonic roots are either mono- or disyllabic.
Many instances of plural number marking in Old English disyllabic neuter a-stem nouns appear uncertain.
33) Many British speakers would pronounce "violet" and "Cyprian" as disyllabic words, though the online Oxford English Dictionary indicates three syllables in its pronunciation guide.
The word SQUIRRELLED is sometimes claimed to be the longest monosyllable (with 11 letters), but the lexica with which I am familiar list this item as disyllabic, with only an optional pronunciation as a monosyllable.