A unit of pronunciation having one vowel (or vowel-equivalent) sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word.

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30
votes
6answers
11k views

How many syllables are in the word 'hour'?

Does the word 'hour' have 1 or 2 syllables?
14
votes
6answers
9k views

When is “marked” pronounced with 2 syllables?

I have heard "marked" pronounced with 2 syllables, like "mar-ked": http://forvo.com/word/marked_(adj_-_distinctive_character) but online dictionaries show only the 1-syllable pronunciation. When ...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

How many syllables are there in the word “fire”?

We were making up Haiku, and there was some disagreement about the number of syllables in "fire." Now granted Haiku isn't technically about syllables (see on), so technically it was a meaningless ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Pronouncing the “N” as separate syllable at the end of words like “known” and “pattern”

Over time, I have heard people pronounce the "n" on words like "known" (NO-en) and "pattern" (PAT-r-en), as though it were a separate syllable. The instances of my hearing such have been rare ones, ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

What's the longest monosyllabic word? And disyllabic?

Another question on the site made me take notice that through is monosyllabic, but quite long. Are there longer monosyllabic words? What's the longest disyllabic word in English? Edit: so, Wikipedia ...
9
votes
4answers
26k views

Syllable division of VCV pattern in words such as “salad” and “lemon”

In words such as salad /sæləd/, you have a VCV pattern (vowel-consonant-vowel), in which the first vowel is short. The syllable division of such words is generally done after the consonant, i.e, as ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Are there any other English syllables without vowels, besides “thm”?

As far as I knew*, all English syllables have a vowel sound and all of them are spelled accordingly, except for "thm" as in rhythm and algorithm. Are there any others? And are there any etymological ...
9
votes
4answers
91k views

Conundrum: “cleverer” or “more clever”, “simpler” or “more simple” etc

I know the rule for making the comparative and superlative form for two-syllable words ending in y, replace the -y with i and use -er and -est: hap.py → happier → (the) happiest ti.dy → tidier → ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

In English, can a whole syllable be aspirated?

Living in Merseyside, I've noticed a phonetic oddity that I can't find described anywhere [I did a Web search and found a transcript of Liverpool speech on a Liverpool University site, but no mention ...
8
votes
1answer
985 views

Why do English men's names almost always stress the first syllable?

While looking at names of American Presidents I noticed that English men’s names almost always stress the first syllable. Barack Obama is unusual in that he’s only the second President (after ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “Israel”?

From Google I have gathered there are several ways for pronounce Israel, I have pronounced it is-rye-el. From googling it some seem to indicate it acceptable and another says it is vulgar and should ...
6
votes
1answer
601 views

How can I determine the proper stressing of words?

I am working on a sonnet. This pretty much mandates the use of iambic pentameter and therefore requires that I have a good grip on emphasis. However, I'm not exactly sure how to properly research ...
6
votes
2answers
289 views

Are you googlable?

The search engine Google was launched in 1998 and on that same year, the term googling was first used. The verb “to google” earned its official status in the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, ...
5
votes
1answer
536 views

First syllable of “gravity”

Is "gravity" pronounced /'græ.vɪ.ti/ or /'græv.ɪ.ti/? I had always assumed that it was the former, but the latter is shown in most dictionaries. Is there variation between accents?
5
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the syllabification rules for English?

I am trying to break a word down into syllables and am not quite sure how to do it for English. Some problems I face: The letter-to-sound rules are not one-to-one. As an example, notice that ...
4
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there a list of syllables contained in US English?

I'm trying to find a list of all syllables (ideally just syllables that appear at the start of words in english). Any suggestions?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How does one find a word with a rhyming middle syllable?

In conversation today I wanted to find a set of words that have an "or" sound in their middles, as in "torrent" and "sorcerer". I couldn't find one. Most rhyming dictionaries I found only concerned ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Does English really have triphthongs?

Does English really have triphthongs? EDIT/TDLR: It appears that quite a few people have misunderstood this question. In a nutshell, it is asking why many sources, even scholarly ones, claim that the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Does 'rhythm' have one or two syllables? [duplicate]

Does the word 'rhythm' have one or two syllables? I'm wondering if there are any reasons for or against a sound-based argument vs a written-based argument.
3
votes
1answer
280 views

How many syllables are in “orange”?

It seems whenever orange is spoken, it is spoken as one syllable. But it appears to be two. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary transcribes the pronunciation of orange as follows: \ˈär-inj, ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

What's the longest word that has survived from Old English?

I recently saw this question Did the "We shall fight on the beaches" speech mainly use words from Old English? If so, why? about Winston Churchill's famous "Fight them on the beaches" speech ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

How many syllables BrE and AmE regarding the word 'secretary'?

I am from Germany and I am having a question regarding the pronunciation of AmE and BrE. I have a book and the text there says that there is a two syllable-pronunciation in BrE R.P. of the word ...
3
votes
1answer
356 views

Same words with different syllabification

I am Italian and I need to split English words into syllables for suprasegmental phonetic analysis. I'm noticing that the Longman Online Dictionary http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/ gives ...
3
votes
3answers
662 views

What are some synonyms for “mindbody” or “psychosomatic”?

I'm open to synonyms for "mindbody" either as a noun (the combination of mind and body as one unit) or as an adjective (e.g. "psychosomatic" or "psychogenic"). But I can't have "psycho" in the term ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Hyphenation of the word “interferometer” in British English

How is the word "interferometer" correctly split at the end of a line in British English, i.e. what is the correct syllabification? I found two contradicting syllabifications: "in·ter·fer·om·e·ter" ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Syllable Count for Apparent Monosyllabic Words

How many syllables are there in "child," "wild," and field"? If we look at the dictionary, it will tell us that these are monosyllabic words. There appear, however, to be diphthongs in each of these ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Why is the word “mimic” divided into syllables as mim-ic and not mi-mic

I would like to know why, when dividing the word mimic into its syllables, is it divided as "mim" and "ic" and not "mi" and "mic". Is there any rule to this?
3
votes
2answers
94 views

syllables and pronunciation

The word exercise has 3 syllables and divided as ex-er-cise. In teaching pronunciation can I divide it as ek-ser-cise since the letter x is the sound of ks together? It seems to make more sense.
3
votes
2answers
296 views

Number of syllables in “liar”, “prior”

It seems that there are two syllables in "liar" (li·ar) because it is made up of a stem "lie" plus the suffix "ar". But what about "prior" (pri·or)? Does it have something to do with the ...
3
votes
0answers
232 views

Spelling of one syllable changes pronunciation of another [closed]

I've been fascinated by word pronunciations where changing the spelling of one syllable doesn't change its pronunciation, but rather changes another syllable in the word. The only two examples I can ...
2
votes
6answers
159 views

Polysyllabic Words

Can you list a few polysyllabic words that only have one vowel (not including y, since it is viewed as a vowel in some words)?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Do all syllables belong to open syllable or closed syllable?

Is there any other category for a syllable which is neither an open nor closed syllable?
2
votes
2answers
820 views

Meaning based on emphasis

Is there a term used to explain how some words change meaning based on the accent? For example, "convict" can be both a noun and a verb depending on which syllable is emphasized. The same is true for ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Words comprising the 322 most frequent syllables? [closed]

There is a list of 322 most common syllables which when used can make up the 5000 most frequent words in the english language. http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7539/urlt/manual.pdf (Page 34-36) ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

How many syllables does “Science” have?

The pronunciation of the word science seems to vary based on which part of the world you're in. I have heard it pronounced "sai-ens" and "saains" (think "signs"). I have check the dictionary, but ...
1
vote
1answer
973 views

What is the correct syllabification for this word, and what is the authoritative source for syllabification?

What is the correct syllabification of the word "eliminate"? What is the Authoritative Source for syllabification? Just in case it is needed, the word is used in the sentence: To allow more ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What tests are used in order to determine the number of syllables in a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the syllabification rules for English? I would like to know what tests are used for determining how many syllables are in a word. Well, there are no tests, then ...
1
vote
3answers
718 views

What is the term that means to add an extra syllable to a word?

This situation is most noticeable when a singer adds a syllable to a word like "Fuh-ree" instead of "free" or "Buh-rave" instead of "brave". It's not Melisma, which is intentional by the writer.
1
vote
3answers
165 views

How should “condolences” be hyphenated?

My word processor soft-hyphenated condolences as condolenc-es. Does this look natural to the eyes of native speakers? I, a non-native speaker, think it should be condolen-ces.
1
vote
0answers
221 views

Is a syllable defined phonetically or etymologically?

Reading recent postings about syllables I've been struck and baffled by talk of the possibility that words may have a different number of syllables when they are written than when they are spoken. Is ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Is “church” one syllable or two? [duplicate]

I read like twenty years ago that the word "church" (clutch, hatch, match) is undoubtedly one syllable when written but that an argument can be made that it's two syllables -- CHUR-ch -- when spoken. ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

How many syllables are in “nights 'n' days”?

While I was trying to match the number of syllables in my poem, I could not be sure how many syllables these sentences below have. Count the nights and days spent together in spite Count the nights ...
0
votes
4answers
2k views

How many syllables does “cry” have?

I started out to make a program which finds out the number of syllables in a word, which is when I realized that I couldn't decide how many syllables cry consists of. According to Wikipedia, A ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How often are tonic syllables incorrectly chosen in English? [closed]

Understanding its accenting rules (though they've changed to worse very recently), it's quite rare to not know how is a given written word is stressed in Spanish. In French or Italian, the tonic ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

How do you hyphenate 'branches'?

How do you hyphenate the word 'branches'? I'm intrigued between branch·es and bran·ches.
0
votes
1answer
216 views

confusion about the suffix 'ence' and “ance” [closed]

I am confused about using the suffixes "ance" and "ence". Where would I use "ance" and where "ence"? Is there some important rule about this?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

How to “hyphenate” the word “standardize”?

I don't really know if the term "hyphenate" is the correct here, I use it because of my LaTeX usage. What I mean (and if there is a word for this, please let me know) is: how to break "standardize" ...
0
votes
1answer
867 views

What is a long syllable? [closed]

I have to write a 24-line poem in Dactylic Hexameter. I looked up what dactyl meant, and I got this answer on wiki: ...a dactyl is a long syllable followed by two short syllables... What is the ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Which is the correct syllable division for 'banana'?

Having looked up banana in two separate online dictionaries, I see that depending on the dictionary, the syllables are: ba-na-na ba-nan-a Although I imagine this only matters when ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Which syllable is stressed in 'meeker'?

Which syllable is stressed in 'meeker'? I have looked in the dictionary, and just found the transcription of 'meek'.