Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

17

From Wikipedia: Strengths is the longest word in the English language containing only one vowel. Rhythms is the longest word in the English language containing none of the five recognised vowels. Schmaltzed and strengthed appear to be the longest monosyllabic words recorded in OED; but if squirrelled is pronounced as one syllable only (as ...


16

From what I understand, hour, fire, hire, layer, rhythm, etc., are all examples of words which are not easily classifiable. But, according to this linguist, Hour and fire are generally considered to be monosyllabic words containing a triphthong. Wikipedia further confirms this in a couple of its articles. Triphthong (WP): English in British ...


16

It may appear from spelling that rhythm has only one syllable, because it has only one vowel. However, the M is a syllabic consonant which forms a syllable of its own. Sonorant consonants like L, M, N, and R can act as the nucleus of a syllable just as a vowel can (although English dictionaries often insert a schwa to represent the nucleus).


13

Strengths is a nine-lettered monosyllable. And it is compulsory to mention that smiles has one mile between the two S's...


12

Occasionally -sm does the same thing: chasm, schism, etc. As I pronounce them, these are all two-syllable words. Having said that, I would question your premise that "all English syllables have a vowel sound". There are in fact a great many English syllables which don't have any vowel sound at all, but rather have a syllabic consonant: button ...


12

I know nothing about Haiku, but I can tell you some general things to think about in terms of the syllable in general. Unfortunately, the syllable is one of those concepts that is difficult to define precisely and uncontroversially in terms of its details, depsite it being one of the few phonological phenomena that your "average" speaker has a good degree ...


10

The Maximal Onset Principle states that where there is a choice over the syllable in which a consonant, in this case /v/, is to be placed, it goes into the onset rather than the coda, that is to say, at the beginning of the following syllable, rather than the end of the preceding syllable, but this applies only within certain phonotactic constraints. One ...


10

Not that everything I learned in school was true, but I remember being taught that most dictionaries – at least print dictionaries – broke words into syllables, and this was one of those things that dictionaries were useful for. So, one could always count the number of •'s, and add one, and get the number of syllables in a word: One dictionary's own ...


8

Syllable division in English is very complicated, and almost none of the dictionaries do it right. At least, according to John Wells, one of the experts on the subject (I assume he believes his own dictionary, the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, gets it correct. See also this blog entry of his.) Simplifying Wells' argument drastically, I believe he is ...


8

The spoken pronunciations are what they are, and will be no matter what anybody says about them. Your second link, however, is not about spoken pronunciation but about sung pronunciation in classical music; and that art form has its own conventions. Classical music insists on 'pure', 'Italian' vowels; it does not like diphthongs and glides, because these ...


8

It has two syllables. Syllables are entirely features of pronunciation, not of writing, so written-based arguments are irrelevant.


7

Marked only has two syllables in poetic or archaic usage. Aged has two syllables when used as a noun (some of the aged need motorised shopping trolleys), or as a "standalone" adjective (an aged relative). It's only one syllable when used as part of a compound adjective (middle-aged relative), or as a verb (I've aged a year since then). Some words occur in ...


7

It depends on who's saying it, and what idiolect they're speaking. Some people sometimes put an epenthetic shwa between /k/ and /r/ in /krai/ to break up the cluster, and/or make the /r/ syllabic, and and/or split the diphthong /ai/ into two pieces. And other times, they don't. It's not standard, sorry. It can vary from one to (in extreme cases, like the ...


7

EDIT: I waited ten hours for other answers to appear, then presented my own findings. I do not pretend that mine is the only possible answer, and would like to hear what others have to say in their own answers. The English word playa is pronounced /ˈplaɪ.ə/ in English with two syllables, with the dot there representing a syllabic boundary. English ...


6

Such words are called heteronyms. The famous Venn diagram from Wikipedia:


6

A list is available here, which states: There is a good chance that most, though probably not quite all, legitimate syllables are represented below. The grand total: 15,831 syllable candidates. Far too many to make a syllabary worth the trouble.


6

I suspect your confusion stems from the fact that markedly is always pronounced as a three syllable word. There's no euphonious way to say it with two syllables, so it hasn't undergone the syllabic reduction common for many -ed words in Modern English. Marked alone is one syllable except in archaic/poetic usage, just as FumbleFingers has already ably ...


6

The OED says that one says /ˈɪzreɪəl/. But one sings /ˈɪzra(j)ɛl/ in the opening of Mendelssohn’s Elijah: As God the Lord of Israel liveth, before whom I stand: there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. That’s the standard sung pronunciation; it (meaning /ˈɪzra(j)ɛl/) is perhaps what people are hearing as your “rye” ...


6

TL;DR: Science has two syllables compared with just one in signs, but phonologic factors like fast-speech rules and characteristics of Southeast Asian languages might make them sound alike you. When you ask “how many syllables” a word has, especially one like science, you open up an extremely broad question whose complete treatment is probably beyond the ...


6

Science has 1 strong and 1 weak syllable. They together result in its rhythm. The strong (— ) syllable: long & stressed , Weak (·) syllable: short. E.g. — · Science ( SAI-ens), — · table


5

English has a rather unusual syllable structure that allows for as many as three leading and five trailing consonants. As a result, there is arguably some ambiguity as to where the articulation point between two syllables falls. However, there is not universal agreement about this point. Wikipedia offers this reasonably clear analysis: In English, ...


5

http://braingle.com/news/hallfame.php?path=language/english/pronunciation/syllable.p&sol=1 gives "scratchbrushed" (14 letters) as the longest 2-syllable word. A more common word is "breakthroughs" (13 letters). If you allow hyphens, perhaps "straight-stretched" (17 letters) is acceptable.


5

It's nothing to do with whether the letter "r" is enunciated. It's just a matter of the vowel sound, which I personally would say is a triphthong, though others might argue they don't accept that term at all, and simply call it a diphthong For the purposes of poetry, singing, etc., it's largely a matter of choice and circumstance whether you say these ...


5

The TeX typesetting system (used mostly by mathematicians) incorporates a syllable-breaking algorithm for English. For more information, you can probably ask in http://tex.stackexchange.com/


5

A list of the 322 most common syllables in the 5,000 most frequent English words can be found at: www.justreadflorida.com/docs/manual/ see page 35-36. These are taken from prior research by Sakiey & Martin Perhaps this will help. We are developing a new note-taking/shorthand system called Dash (r) that incorporates special signs for common ...


5

In the Jewish community in the United States you hear Is-Ree-al and Is-RYE-el, the latter being closer to the Hebrew pronunciation of YIS-ra-el. The more imprtant distinction should be the "El" which is a form of a Name of the Divinity.


5

The rule is, when your spelling checker underlines a word ending with -ance in red, try -ence. ;-) There's no easy to remember rule. The words are typically derived from Latin words ending -antia and -entia. Though as English spelling was standardized somewhat inconsistently, even that's not an especially good guide for English.


4

One type of mistake sometimes made among non-native speakers (and indeed sometimes native speakers) is to not know which syllable the stress lies on when seeing the written form of a word. And yes, there are a handful of cases of stress position being subject to variation (possibly more ideolectal than sociolinguistic). For example, the word "television" ...


4

I believe, contrary to the above, that the two-syllable pronunciation is quite common in descriptive science in general and, in particular, medical enunciations of symptoms or side-effects of a condition or medication. E.g., "topical application of X is known to cause 'mar-ked' erythema immediately surrounding the area of application".


4

According to Wikipedia, A unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; e.g., there are two syllables in water and three in inferno According to the above definition, cry does have 2 vowel sounds, so the number of syllables should be 2. No, according to ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible