(redirected from monosyllabic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to monosyllabic: disyllabic


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.
Continue reading...
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although a decrease was detected in the discrimination scores in monosyllabic repetition tests carried out despite overmasking, a statistically significant finding was not obtained (table 3).
For example, Krolow's poem "Warten" ("Waiting") begins in the original German, "Ich wusste, du wudest nicht kommen," which in English is literally, "I knew you would not come." Even with limited pronunciation skills one can see that the German establishes a fairly nuanced rhythm by way of a few lovely multisyllabic words, but translator Friebert renders this line "I knew you wouldn't come," which, aside from the contraction "woudn't," contains only monosyllabic words and includes a hard rhyme, "knew you." Although one could argue for a rigidly iambic reading of Friebert's translation, the next line, "Es war vier Uhr nachmittags," becomes "It was four in the afternoon," which forces readers to throw this strategy out the window before it can even get started.
For these limited language materials, the numbers of monosyllabic words, polysyllabic words, and total words have been counted.
This type has a subtype (1a') with a monosyllabic weak-grade stem in the partitive singular form, which is identical with the first syllable of the corresponding disyllabic weak-grade stem, cf.
No wonder their men are reduced to monosyllabic grunts and drunken slobbery" Novelist and commentator Cristina Odone, describing Janet Street-Porter as someone with "teeth that could sever a branch from its trunk" "Simon Cowell will return for part of the live finals but we're getting on fine without him.
In his 2008 conference speech, Mr Johnson retorted that it had been a "low moment" to have his speaking style "denounced by a monosyllabic Austrian cyborg".
Cabbies in Brum tend to be more monosyllabic but I was surprised to find they are criticised for being "grumpy and surly" in a survey conducted by Research for Design on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
"Yeah, I was on for a 147, but then I heard there's no additional prize, so I couldn't really be bothered." "So you decided to try a jump shot, ripping the cloth and landing the cue ball in that old lady's gin-and-tonic instead?" This week, if the money was right, I'd have thrashed Haile Gebrselassie in the Great North Run, hit Shoaib Akhtar for six consecutive sixes and resurrected the world's economy before conducting a monosyllabic interview with BBC Snooker's Rob Walker.
Ana's usually energetic demeanor had faded and my attempts to engage her were met with glum, monosyllabic replies.
I headed straight for the definition of 'four-letter word', which I discovered refers to 'any of several monosyllabic English words, referring to the sexual or excretory functions or organs of the human body, that are conventionally excluded from polite use." Now I understand.
And when Mark is with Molly, he's monosyllabic. He doesn't display any personality to speak of, so she must love him for his looks.
But the message, if they are, is simple and monosyllabic: TURN IT DOWN OR WIND IT UP