I was looking for a list of commonly used syllables and came across this one which mentions that some of its syllables are "non-word syllables." I have no idea what this might mean and can't find a definition. I've found "non-words" but not "non-word syllables."

The term was used in an image caption.

1  ðə  3.90% | 2   ə   3.17% | 3   ˈtu 2.10% | 4   ˈænd    1.90% | 5   ˈʌv 1.85% | 6   ɪn  1.82% | 7   [li]    0.96% | 8   ˈðæt    0.92% | 9   ˈaɪ 0.79% | 10  ˈfɔr    0.79% | etc.
The 200 most frequent syllables in General American English, with non-word syllables highlighted.

Can anyone tell me what is meant by this phrase?

  • Can you cut and paste the sentence and some context from that link? The link is great but you want the text here too. – Mitch Jan 17 at 22:59
  • Alright. I'm not sure it'll be of much use in this case, unfortunately. – Lemma Prism Jan 17 at 23:05
  • Lemma, for the convenience of visitors to this site because links rot and sometimes sites are behind paywalls. Both the link and the text are required here. – Mitch Jan 18 at 1:42
  • What is the confusion? In the word paywall there are two syllables but each syllable also exists as a word on its own. Neither of the two syllables in prickle exist as independent words, so these are non-word syllables. – Reinstate Monica Jan 18 at 2:48
  • @Mitch Oh I realize that, it's just that the source was just a caption and seemed to have too few contextual cues to be useful. Maybe it's more useful than I realize, though... – Lemma Prism Jan 18 at 7:14

Judging from the table in the image at the link, it appears that non-word syllables are those syllables that do not, by themselves, constitute words, in contrast with word syllables, which are syllables that are also words.

From the linked article, here are some of the word syllables. These make the words "the," "a," "to/too/two," "and," "of," and "in":

enter image description here

Here are some of the highlighted non-word syllables. Note that, when pronounced standalone, do not sound like any English words, but are rather parts of words. These could be used in e.g. "gentle," "funnel," ..., "running," ...:

enter image description here

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