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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).


14

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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

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


9

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

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 ...


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

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


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

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

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

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 ...


4

Since you ask about personal use: In my speech, the consonant heads the following syllable: ne - ver, ba - lance. This is my idiolect, which is basically educated East Alabama speech; and it was confirmed by my speech instructors when I was a student of acting. In writing, however, if I were compelled to hyphenate such a word at the end of a line of text, ...


4

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.


4

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.


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 ...


4

IPA isn't that difficult to decipher, is it? hour /ou(ə)r/ (one syllable) hour /aʊər, ˈaʊər/ (one or two syllables, one being preferred)


4

I don't know of a specific source for exactly what you are asking for, But: With the Regex dictionary you can search for arbitrary regular expressions in words. You can enter the following regex to find words that contain the letters or in the middle. ..*or.*[bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz].* The expression I used requires that a consonant appear following ...


4

According to Swan in Pratical English Usage (p114) the two-syllable adjectives whose comparative form is most likely to be formed with -er are those that end with an unstressed vowel; e.g. narrow, simple, clever, subtle, etc. from your list above. Swan goes on to state: With many two-syllable adjectives (e.g. polite, common) -er/-est and more/most are ...


4

I wouldn't. It is only eight letters long, and is the produced plural of a word that is only six letters long, monosyllabic and from a single root, without suffix or prefix or compound parts. As such, I'd move the entire word onto the next line, even when space was limited. I note that Merriam Webster and Oxford Dictionaries, two dictionaries that contain ...


3

Aged with one syllable seems to be limited to phrases with a number of years A man aged 46 was arrested yesterday. and when referring to non-human things (aged cheese, well-aged beef, unaged wine). Generally speaking, adjectives formed from regular participles, like wanted, believed, added, whispered, etc, follow the pronunciation rules for the {-ED} ...


3

I am undercertain whether you asking about syllables, or about hyphenation, or both, but as far as hyphenation is concerned, the standard Knuth–Liang hyphenation algorithm (used not only by TeX but by many other pieces of software) says that one should hyphenate those four words this way: sal·ad lemon nev·er bal·ance Yes, that’s right: they say you ...


3

Here is the case of 'sometimes y'. The 'y' here is the spelling that tells you the vowel sound. In standard English it is a diphthong /ai/, a vowel followed by a glide/semi-vowel, which sounds like (and is counted as) a single vowel sound, the center of a single syllable.



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