Questions tagged [syllables]

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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Why is the syllable division for glorious "glo-ri-ous" rather than "glor-i-ous"? [closed]

https://www.howmanysyllables.com/syllables/glorious Divide glorious into syllables: glo-ri-ous Why is it glo-ri-ous and not glor-i-ous? And shouldn't "glo" be pronounced as glow? Which ...
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How to recognize stressed and unstressed syllables? (E.g. admit vs limit) [duplicate]

I wonder is there any simple rules to recognize is a syllable stressed or unstressed. When I try to pronounce any word, I don't recognize any of the following features of a stressed syllable: 1) ...
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When to pronounce 'beloved' in 2 syllables vs 3 syllables [duplicate]

I've heard this pronounced as two syllables: be-loved. And as three syllables: be-lov-ed. Is only one correct? If not, what cases require each use?
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Syllable stress of the word begonias

I am currently studying syllable stress. When I look at the word begonia we can split it into 3 syllables with the stress on 'go'. E.g bih-gohn-yuh. However, the plural form of the word gives me 4 ...
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Syllabification of "riding"

According to the Middle Consonant Rule, shouldn't we syllabicate the word riding as Ri-ding (raɪ-dɪŋ)? Why are we syllabicating it as Rid-ing (raɪd.ɪŋ)? What's the rule for this?
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why is ‘prejudice’ syllabified as Prej-u-dice?

While reading a book, I noticed prejudice was hyphenated to the next line in the following form: prej-udice. As I found it quite strange, I searched online for its syllables and apparently it had its ...
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Are /t, p, k/ aspirated when they are at the start of a syllable after another syllable that ends in /s/?

In English (native speakers' speech), voiceless plosives such as /t/, /p/ and /k/ are produced with a strong burst of air when they are in the start of a syllable before a vowel. That is called "...
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Does English allow alveolar flap [ɾ] at the ends of syllables? If yes, how to syllabify?

Prompted by this question: How to syllabify “very” or “merry” etc in British English?, I found the linked question interesting and it was a very good question but it did not get much attention, ...
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2 answers
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How to syllabify "very" or "merry" etc in British English?

How should words like merry or very be syllabified in British English. I learned from the answer to my first question that words that have vowels like /ʌ ɪ ʊ ɛ/ should have a consonant after that ...
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Why is "loosely" divided into syllables as "LOOS-LEE" and not "LOO-SLEE"?

About ten days ago I had asked a question about "syllabification" and received an excellent answer. That answer said: "there's a phonological rule called Maximal Onset Principle (MOP), ...
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How to syllabify "obsessive": OB-SE-SIV or OB-SES-IV?

I was taught by my high school teacher how to count syllables and according to that method, you count them by clapping each syllable. The word "obsessive" should be: /əb.se.sɪv/ -- OB-SE-SIV....
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3 answers
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Why do cer­tain con­so­nant clus­ters oc­cur only at the start of a syl­la­ble but oth­ers only at the end?

You may have no­ticed that in English, some con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the start of an English word while other con­so­nant clus­ters can oc­cur only at the end. For ex­am­ple, the com­...
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Is there a name for syllables connected with hyphens which might be read as multiple words?

Is there a name for syllables connected with hyphens which can be read as multiple words? For example in one of my songs I have the lines: When you escape from, re-hab-its … more than your soul, cares ...
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1 answer
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Suffix that is 'opposite' of -able

Using the suffix "able", many verbs can be made into adjectives that describe what it is that the relevant (perhaps implicit) subject can perform or be allowed to do according to the verb. ...
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How to find stressed syllables in English text as a non-native English speaker?

I am a non-native English speaker and I recently learned about "stressed syllables". As a non-native speaker, I mostly cannot find stressed syllable while reading English text. My goal is to read ...
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Why is the word "triple" spelt with 1 p although tri is an open syllable?

nipple has a double p. tripod and triangle are pronounced tr/I/
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Syllables and degrees of comparision [duplicate]

Rule says: In a positive degree if a word ends in a consonant and there's a short vowel before the consonant, then we double the last consonant and add -er or -est. Example: big -> bigger -> biggest ...
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Syllables and word stressing [closed]

I am an english learner but when it comes to syllables and streesing, a lot of words give me problems in pronoucing them. When I was taught syllables and streesing they told me that every word has ...
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Can the word "something" really not be broken up into any pieces (hyphenation) in British English?

I'm testing this software hyphenator. It seems to be working overall quite well, but one thing struck me as odd, so I'm asking you language experts. The word "something" doesn't get broken up into ...
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Why does Shakespeare let two or more actors finish a pentameter?

To complete the number of syllables in a pentameter Shakespeare (and other contemporaries) let multiple actors say a verse, like shown in Macbeth Were two actors complete a pentameter: DUNCAN: As ...
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1 answer
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Number of syllables. Nuclear vs Linear. Is there a difference

I just looked up the syllable description of the words linear and nuclear. On that website, it says linear has 3 syllables and nuclear 2. This is despite the 'ear' of both words being pronounced the ...
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Words that have same spelling, different meaning, and different number of syllables?

Is there a term for words that have the same spelling, different meanings, and different number of syllables for their pronunciations? The only example I can think of is resume and résumé. The only ...
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2 answers
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How to call a so-called helper spelling to help reading a word?

Using words below as example: team /tiːm/ head /ˈhed/ eat /ēt/ The common syllable ea sound cannot always be pronounced consistently the same sound in English language. It differs per word. That's ...
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How to count syllables for affricates

I was reading about readability tests and it says The sentence "The Australian platypus is seemingly a hybrid of a mammal and reptilian creature." scores 37.5 as it has 24 syllables and 13 words. ...
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1 answer
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Inquiries Concerning Context Clues, Syllables, and the Use of the Dictionary [closed]

The following are consists of three questions with the possible choices for each along with my reasoning for each question. I ask of you to provide me assistance in guiding me towards the answer for ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How do you divide the syllables of plurals whose singular ends in "-e"?

How do you divide the syllables of plurals whose singular ends in "-e"? For example, is "fences" "fen-ces" or "fenc-es"? Is "appliances" "ap-pli-an-ces" or "ap-pli-anc-es"? The context is not ...
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3 votes
4 answers
532 views

English minimal pair words by syllabification [closed]

Are there English minimal pairs created by different syllabification, specifically of lexical words?
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4 votes
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Should "ohmmeter" be stressed on the first or second syllables, or both?

Question: Which syllable or syllables are stressed in the word ohmmeter? Context: I tried to say the word ohmmeter out loud today and realized I am unsure of the correct pronunciation. The double m ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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I can't find a single word that starts with the "Sa" sound in "saga"

I've read every word starting with "SA" in my dictionary out loud. It's driving me crazy thinking there is only a single English word starting with what appears to be such a common syllable. Is it ...
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Name for words that have 3 or more syllables?

A word with one syllable is "monosyllabic". Two syllables is "disyllabic", three is "trisyllabic", and so on. "Polysyllabic" refers to any word with more than one syllable. Is there any single term ...
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1 answer
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Open and closed final syllables in multisyllabic words

Can a 2-syllable word have two open syllables? Essentially, can the final syllable of a 2+ syllable word be open? I know that an open syllable is one where it ends with a long vowel sound and does ...
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1 answer
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Where can I make a line break in “predesign”? [closed]

At which point can I make a line break in predesign?
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Syllable count of environmental

I seems to me the sound at the end is /tl/ or as far as I and most people I know pronounce it. This applies for most other -tal ending words. I know it could be /təl/ but the vowel is not present at ...
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Is there a strong correlation between speech rate and beat rate in English

Can speech rate in English be reliably measured through the beat rate? Beat rate analysis is now pretty standard, and a plethora of algorithms can reliably measure beat rate — typically in beats per ...
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2 answers
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number of syllables in GIRL

I (US Mid-West) definitely pronounce this as having two syllables, with a schwa between the R and the L. In fact, I find it difficult to make a consonant cluster of RL. This is contradicted but ...
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Do syllables only contain one vowel? Also Some questions on word stress

For this word: ○ recommend ○/ˌrekəˈmend/ 1) /rekə/ is the first syllable. Does it contain two vowels? ■ e is a vowel ■ ə is a vowel I thought syllables can only contain one vowel? 2) the [ ']...
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Pronunciation and syllables of pre-Modern English "belewe"?

I know the word "belewe" from traditional astronomy as a precursor to the phrase "blue moon", also known as the "betrayer" thirteenth moon in one of every three years that would disrupt a lunar ...
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2 answers
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What is the phonetic term for consecutive sounded vowels?

I am interested for the term used when instances of two consecutive vowels sounds are in different syllables, such as: thrOUGHOUt, abbrevIAtion, immedIAte, barrIER, cOExist, promiscUIty, crEAte, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How many syllables are there for "laboratory"

When I try Google, it says 5 syllables (and so do most top result websites): lab·o·ra·to·ry (the dots do not matter, it explicitly states that there are 5 syllables). However, the pronunciation as ...
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2 answers
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Why does the "-ed" suffix give "wanted" a second syllable, when "based" or "looked" only have one?

Why is it that wanted has 2 syllables, but based has 1 syllable. The root of these words, want and base, are both monosyllablic. And both of these past tense forms end with the same -ed suffix: ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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How many syllables in the -ism suffix?

How do you commonly syllabicate words that end with -ism? When I pronounce -ism, it sounds like two syllables, (feudalism sounds like 4 syllables, racism sounds like 3 syllables), but in general, a ...
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unstressed syllable in the middle of the word = always schwa sound?

I've noticed a pattern about pronunciation of words in American English - an unstressed syllable in the middle of the word tends to have a schwa sound regardless of the actual written letter. examples:...
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2 votes
3 answers
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What is the logic behind finding out the primary stress on syllable in the given word?

For example, the word co·a·li·tion has its primary stress on the third syllable. Therefore, on which syllable does the word el·e·phant have its primary stress?
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Is it possible for a word to have multiple different syllable counts? If so what is an example?

to further clarify, for example is it possible to have one word that has one pronunciation that is 2 syllables and at the same time the exact same word has another pronunciation that is 3 syllables
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is "ache" an open syllable?

http://www.sightwordsgame.com/spelling/words/open-syllable/ This website says that -An open syllable occurs when a vowel is at the end of the syllable but they include the word ache in their list ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to calculate number of syllables in a word using only the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) spelling?

I want to write an algorithm to calculate the number of syllables in a word. This process is an automated one that will be run on an entire dictionary so manually counting the number of breaths, chin ...
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"Cursed" as two syllables in poetry [duplicate]

While the normal pronunciation of "cursed" is in one syllable, I have seen it used as a two-syllable word, "curs-ed". The Cambridge dictionary lists this pronunciation as an alternative in UK only: ...
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Can "those" be a two-syllable word?

For the purpose of poetry, can one use "those" as a two-syllable word (tho-uhz)? Or is it always one syllable, as in normal usage? Minimal (contrived) example of the possible, or impossible, use: ...
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Influence of inflections on Phonics Rules and Syllables Types

I'm doing a small research on English phonics rules and I'm trying to clarify the influence of inflections in word forms. It's best to explain my problem with some examples. The letter 'a' in the ...
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Why are the words “disposable” and “disable” syllabified differently?

Is there a rule or some reasonable explanation for why in the word “disposable” the /s/ in the prefix “dis-” belongs to the second syllable, but in the word “disable” the same prefix is intact? Here ...
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