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Syllable devision

Syllable formation and syllable division rules appear to be a matter of great practical value to the language learner. They are especial1y important when it is necessary to know the number of syllables for the purpose of picturing a word or a sentence on the staves, or for finding a convenient place to put a stress mark in phonetic transcription. One must know the rules to define the syllable boundaries to make correct syllable division at the junction of words. As wrong syllabic division may cause misunderstanding, eg: a nice house (a 'nals 'haus); an ice house (;)n 'al£ 'haus).

When the first sequence is pronounced with the syllable boundary between the sounds (n) and [ai] a phonological mistake is made as in this case the meaning is different.

It is not difficult to count how many syllables a word contains by noticing the peaks or the most prominent sounds in it (vowels and the sonorants [I, n. m]). but it is not generally easy to determine precisely the syllable bo­ndary. Sometimes the beginning of a syllable is marked by a stress, eg create Ikn'en); concern [k:m's3:n). In other cases the transition from one vowel sound to another indicates the separation of syllables, eg seeing ['si:IO); bluish I'blu:lf) .

But there are cases when, it is almost impossible to determine the syllable boundary, eg extra ('ekstr­). It is quite evident that there are two syllables in the word as there are two peaks (the vowels [e) and (a) in it. But the syllable division may be marked like this: I'ek-str::» or ['eks-tra).

In most general terms syllable division rules can be defined as follows:

(1) An intervocalic consonant tends to belong to the following syllabic sound. eg about 1::>-lbaut); writing ('ral-tll)).

This rule holds true for cases when a consonant is preceded by a long vowel or a diphthong, as they are always free at the end and there is no need to close the syllable. eg music ('mju: zIk); skating l'skeHII)).

But in case of a short stressed vowel followed by a consonant there are three viewpoints concerning the syllable boundary:

  1. the intervocalic consonant belongs to the short vowel preceding it (to make the short vowel checked). eg pity I'PIt-J). coffee ('kof-I). better ('bet-a);
  2.  the intervocalic consonant belongs to the vowel following it, eg ['pHI), ('ko-fll, ('be-tal;
  3.  the syllable boundary goes through the consonant. eg ['pltl), I'kofl), /,beta].

In thIs case the sounds (t] and (f] belong structurally both to the preceding and the following vowels. The last point of view seems to be more convenient for pedagogical expedience as a stressed vowel being covered by a consonant becomes checked.

(2) Intervocalic combinations of consonants belong to the folowing syllabic sound, if such combinations are typical of English. eg naturally ('nreif-ra-Ir]. It is reasonable to admit that the syllable boundary is placed in this word between [tʃ] and [r] as [rә] and [ætʃ] possible word final and initial sequences, while the word final [æ] and initial [tʃrә] do not occur in English, eg latch (lretf], extra ['ekstr­)

Recommendations. 1. Make vowels in stressed syllables checked by passing over to the articulation of the following consonant as quickly as possible.

2. See that you make correct syllable division at the junction of words, cf:

They Jived in an ice house. (Oe. \.hvd In ;m 'a IS ,haus).

They lived in a nice house. (Oe. \.hvd In ;) 'nalS ,haus)..

06.06.2014; 09:37
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Гуманитарные науки
лингвистика и языки
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