Theories of the nature of the syllable. Syllable formation. The rules of the syllable division. Functions of the syllable. Word stress. The nature of the English word-stress: the recessive tendency, the retentive tendency, the rhythmic tendency. Functions of word-stress.
Syllables are minimal pronounceable units into which sounds cluster.
1. Theories on the nature of the syllable
1) the expiratory, or chest pulse or pressure theory (R.H.Stetson).
The assumption: each syllable should correspond to a single expiration.
Criticism: a number of words and consequently syllables can be pronounced with a single expiration.
2) the sonority theory (O.Jespersen)
The assumption: each sound is characterized by a certain degree of sonority
Speech sounds rank: (most sonorous) the open vowels > the close vowels > the sonorants > the voiced fricatives > the voiced plosives > the voiceless fricatives > the voiceless plosives (least sonorous).
The most sonorous sounds tend to form the centre of the syllable and the least sonorous – the marginal segments.
Criticism:the most serious drawback of this theory is that it fails to explain the actual mechanism of syllable formation and syllable division.
3) the theory of muscular tension (L.V.Shcherba)
The assumption: there is a syllabic phoneme in the centre of the syllable. The energy, that is the tension of articulation, increases within the range of prevocalic consonants and then decreases within the range of postvocalic consonants. The syllable can be defined as an arc of articulatory (or muscular) tension.
A strong-end (initially weak) consonant - the beginning of this arc, i.e. of the syllable (zoo [ˢzu:]).
An initially-strong (weak-end) consonant - the end of an arc of articulatory effort (ooze [u:zˢ]).
A double-peaked geminated consonant is strong at both ends and weak in the middle$ can occur at the junction of two syllables (two words or morphemes), as in good day /gʊdʹdeɪ/, unknown /ʌnʹnoʊn/.
4) the loudness theory (N.I.Zhinkin)
The assumption: the syllable could be thought of as the arc of loudness which correlates with the arc of articulatory effort on the speech production level.
2. Syllable formation
The features of the syllable:
1) a syllable is a chain of phonemes of varying length;
2) a syllable is constructed on the basis of contrast of its constituents (which is usually of vowel-consonant type);
3) the nucleus of a syllable is a vowel, the presence of consonants is optional; there are no languages in which vowels are not used as syllable nuclei, however, there are languages in which this function is performed by consonants;
4) the distribution of phonemes in the syllabic structure follows the rules which are specific enough for a particular language.
Syllable formation is based on the phonological opposition vowel – consonant.
Vowels are usually syllabic while consonants are not, with the exception of [l], [m], [n], which become syllabic if occur in an unstressed final position preceded by a noise consonant: [‘lıtl] little, [‘gα:dn] garden.
Four types of syllables
1) open [nəʊ] no CV
2) closed [ɒd] odd VC
3) covered [nəʊt] note CV(C)
4) uncovered [əʊ] ,[əʊk] oh, oak V(C)
In English the closed type of syllable is the fundamental one while in Russian the open type forms the basis of syllable formation.
The number of syllable varieties from the point of view of their structure is 23.
The number of syllables in the English word: 1-8 (come, city, family, simplicity, unnaturally, incompatibility, unintelligibility).
Syllables may be stressed and unstressed (also syllables with secondary stress in English).
Some peculiarities of the syllabic structure of English:
3. Syllable division
The part of phonetics that deals with grouping of the sounds of a language into syllables according to certain rules is called phonotactics.
The free or checked character of the vowels determines syllable division usually in conjunction with the presence of stress on the vowel if there is only one consonant between the two vowels.
1) V type, as /ɔ:/ awe: a vowel can form a syllable by itself. It is also an arc of loudness produced by an arc of articulatory effort.
2) (C)CV type: these vowels preserve their free nature in words of this type, although the upward slope of the syllable is formed by the prevocalic consonant or the cluster (e.g. me [mi:], slow [sləʊ]).
3) (C)V-V(C) or (C)V-CV(C) type: these vowels preserve their weak-end character in disyllabic and polysyllabic words in which they are followed by another vowel or are separated from a succeeding vowel by a single consonant. The point of syllable division is between the two vowels and before the intervocalic consonant (slower /´sləʊ-ə/; slowly /´sləʊ- lɪ/).
4) (C)VCC type: a long monophthong or diphthong occurs in an open syllable when it is separated by a single consonant from a word-final syllabic sonorant. The sonorant forms a syllable together with the preceding noise consonant: /´bi:- tl/ (beetle), /´ga:- dn/ (garden), /´teɪ- bl/ (table).
5) (C)V-CV(C) type: a historically short English monophthong under stress is checked. There is no weakening of articulatory effort towards its end and such a vowel can only occur in a closed stressed syllable. But when it is separated from a succeeding vowel by only one consonant, as in /ʹletə/ (letter) the syllabic boundary is within the intervocalic consonant, which is in this case a short (not geminated) double-peaked consonant the first part of which closes the preceding syllable while the second covers the succeeding one. (sitter [´sɪtə], letter [´letə], copy [´kɒpi], runner [´rʌnə]).
6) (C)V-CC(C) type: a short stressed vowel is in a closed syllable also when it is separated by a single consonant sound from a sonorant. The point of syllable division within the consonant separating the short vowel from the sonorant: /bɪtn/ (bitten), /lesn/ (lesson), /fætn/ (fatten), /mıdl/ (middle).
7) In English words with a syllabic sonorant followed by a vowel, like /´glʌtnı/ (gluttony), /ʹflænlı/ (flannely), the sonorant is apparently a long double-peaked consonant the first part of which forms a syllable with the preceding consonant, while the second constitutes the upword slope of the succeeding syllable formed by a vowel. (listening /´lısnıŋ/.
8) a pre-tonic unstressed short vowel, unstressed long monophthong or diphthong separated from a succeeding stressed vowel by a single consonant occurs in the open syllable: (ago, elect, partition, idea).
9) a post-tonic short vowel, long monophthong or diphthong separated from a following vowel by a single consonant occurs in the open syllable. The point of syllable division is before the consonant: /´fæmılı/ (family), /´kɒlənɪ/ (colony).
10) When two vowels are separated from each other by two consonants the point of syllable division in English very often is conditioned by whether this cluster occurs at the beginning of English words or not. If it does, the point of syllable division is before the cluster; if it does not, the syllabic boundary is between the consonants: agree [ə´ɡri:]; abrupt [ə´brʌpt], but admit /əd-´mɪt/ with the clusters that can never be found in the word initial position and such clusters, consequently, should be broken by syllabic boundary: /əd-´maɪə/ admire, /əb-´hɔ:/ abhor.
11) at the junction of two morphemes a cluster that does occur word-initially is broken up by the syllabic boundary: /twaɪs/ (twice); /ʹwaɪt-wɒʃ/ (whitewash).
12) the number of intervocalic consonants is three (/‘ekstrə/extra). Possible points of syllable division:
4.Functions of the syllable
1) the constitutive function.
It lies in its ability to be part of a word or a word itself. The syllable forms language units of greater magnitude, that is words, morphemes and utterances. The syllable is a specific minimal structure of both segmental and suprasegmental features.
2) the distinctive function.
In this respect the syllable is characterized by its ability to differentiate words and word-forms.
The distinction between [naı-′treıt] nitrate - [naıt-′reıt] night-rate :
The analogical distinction between word combinations can be illustrated by many more examples:
An aim – a name
Mice kill – my skill
An ice house – a nice house
Peace talks – pea stalks
Plate rack – play track
might rain – my train
Sometime the difference in syllabic division might be the basic ground for differentiation sentences in such minimal pairs as:
I saw her eyes. – I saw her rise.
I saw the meat. – I saw them eat.
5. Types of word stress
B.A.Bogoroditsky: stress is an increase of energy + an increase of expiratory and articulatory activity
D.Jones:ined stress is the degree of force + a strong force of exhalation = an impression of loudness. Later he wrote: “stress or prominence is effected … by inherent sonority, vowel and consonant length and by intonation”.
Features of the stressed syllable:
Types of word accent:
Word stress is the singling out of one or more syllables in a word, which is accompanied by the change of the force of utterance, pitch of the voice, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the sound, which is usually a vowel.
6. The nature of word stress
According to the placement of word stress languages are classified into those with a fixed stress (the occurrence of the word stress is limited to a particular syllable as in French and Polish) and those with a free stress (its place is not confined to a specific position in the word as in English and Russian).
Russian accentual structure The quantitative component plays great role Vowels of full formation and full length in unstressed positions are never pronounced, they are always reduced. The vowels of full length are perceived as stressed. The word stress is free, not fixed. It may also be shifting, performing the semantic function of differentiating lexical units, parts of speech, grammatical forms. The word stress is a means of word-building and word formation, e.g. ′дома –до′ма.
English accentual structure The quantitative component of word stress is not of primary importance because of non-reduced vowels in the unstressed syllables which sometimes occur in English words, e.g. ´architect, ´transport. The word stress is free, not fixed. It may also be shifting, performing the semantic function of differentiating lexical units, parts of speech. The word stress is a means of word-building, e.g. ′contrast – con′trast.
The accentual structure of English words. Word accentual tendencies.
1) The recessive tendency consists in placing the accent on the initial syllable of nouns, adjectives and verbs derived from them and on the root syllable of words which belonged to other parts of speech and had a prefix.
a) Unrestricted recessive accent in Modern English falls on the initial syllable, provided it is not a prefix which has no referential meaning now, e.g. father, mother, wonder, husband, etc.
b) Restricted recessive stress falls on the root of native English words with a prefix which has no referential meaning now, e.g. among, before, forget, withstand, etc.
Most English words of Anglo-Saxon origin as well as French borrowings (dated back to the 15th century) are subjected to this recessive tendency.
2) The rhythmic tendency (the accent determined by it is called rhythmical).The presence in English of a great number of short (monosyllabic and disyllabic) words has caused the development of the tendency consisting of alternating a stressed syllable with an unstressed one. It caused the appearance of the secondary stress in the multisyllabic French borrowings, e.g. ˛revo'lution, ˛organi′sation, etc.
words like radical, family, occasion, borrowed from French
1) the stress on the last syllable
2) the stress on the last syllable + the recessive stress on the initial syllable= the alternation of a stressed syllable with an unstressed one ( ´- - ´-). For some period of time this and similar words had two stresses.
3) the recessive stress on the initial syllable (the stress on the last syllable weakened and disappeared)
No rhythmical alternation of a stressed syllable with an unstressed one in such words in present-day English - historically, or diachronically, rhythmical stress.
The stress on the third syllable from the end is diachronically rhythmical
The secondary stress on the second pretonic syllable in words like pronunciation, examination; on the third syllable from the secondary pretonic stress, as in indivisibility /´ındı¸vızı´bılıtı/ - synchronically rhythmical stress.
3) The retentive tendency: a derivative retains the stress of the original or parent word, e.g. ′similar - as′similate. the retention of the primary accent of the parent word: ´person - ´personal; the retention of the accent of the parent word in the form of secondary stress: ´personal - ¸perso´nality, ′similar – ¸simi´larity, as¸simi´lation..
Constant accent remains on the same syllable in all the grammatical forms of a word or in all the derivatives from one and the same root. Retentive stress in a derivative falls on the same syllable on which it falls in the parent word, while in other derivatives from the same root it may be shifted, cf. ´person - ´personal - per´soni¸fy.
7. The functions of word stress
Word stress in a language performs the following functions:
1) constitutive function - Word stress constitutes a word, it organizes the syllables of a word into a language unit having a definite accentual structure. Thus the word stress performs the.
3) distinctive function - Word stress is capable of differentiating the meaning of words or their forms, e.g. ′import - im′port, ′billow - be′low.
4) delimitative function - In languages with the fixed word stress it serves as a sign of the beginning or the end of the following word or phrase.
1. /American local dialects..docx
|Peculiarities of Word Stress in English|
«Expression in word-formation on an example Aldaus Huxley “After framework” in English language»
|Phonetics – the branch of linguistics that studies word components of the phonetic system of the language. Concerned with human noises by which the thought is actualized or given audible shape + nature,|
1. /лексикология/Affixation in English.docx
|Дипломна робота на тему: Текстовий процесор Microsoft Word план вступ 9 Основні способи запуску Word 9 Головне вікно Word 10|
Одержання підказів по командам меню та піктограмам, які розташовані на екрані Word 11
|1 Fonologia y fonetica. Division y los aplicaciones||Reader Energy security in International Relations (IR) theories|
2. /10. Doubletes, int. words.txt
2. /10. Doubletes, int....
|1. Intonation. Its functions|