English syllable and its structural properties | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Рубрика: Филология

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №19 (153) май 2017 г.

Дата публикации: 11.05.2017

Статья просмотрена: 76 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Касимова М. З. English syllable and its structural properties // Молодой ученый. — 2017. — №19. — С. 404-406. — URL https://moluch.ru/archive/153/42830/ (дата обращения: 11.12.2018).



This article is devoted to the problems of the syllabic structure of English words, to the analysis of one of its internal substructures — codas, their combinabilities and permissible combinations of phonemes (phonotactic rules) in codas in English.

If we have a look at the structural properties of syllable we observe that syllable consists of a central peak of sonority and the consonants that cluster around this central peak. According to one of the oldest conceptions the syllable consists of a vowel, surrounded by consonants. If the function of the vowel in the syllable is to serve as its nucleus or peak, then the function of the consonants is to be the margins of the syllable. Syllables have the following formal internal structure: onset (initial consonant cluster), nucleus and coda (final consonant cluster) and the structural formula for the English syllable can be drawn as:

So a syllable is a unit of sound composed of a central peak of sonority (usually a vowel) and the consonants that cluster around this central peak and these clusters consist of combinations of allowable segments and typical sound sequences. If we analyse the structural properties of the syllable we observe that syllables require a nucleus, which is usually a vowel, and optionally onset or coda, which are usually consonants or consonant clusters:

Onset- Initial segment of a syllable, Optional

Nucleus-Central segment of a syllable, Obligatory

Coda-Closing segment of a syllable, Optional

In case when the syllables have an onset (the initial segment of the syllable) in English words they may start with 1, 2 or 3 consonants and its presence is optional.

The central segment of the syllablewhich is the peak of sonority is called the “nucleus” and usually the nucleus is a vowel, although the sonorants [l, m and n] can also be the nucleus of a syllable in English, but this property of the above mentioned sonorants is not investigated in our research, consequently such consonant combinations as C+S(sonorant) in the following words are not taken into account- [(r)iðm], [(s)i:zn], [(p)ensl]. The nucleus, as the term suggests, is the core or essential part of a syllable and its presence in a syllable is obligatory.

As it has already been mentioned the consonant or the consonant cluster, which follows the peak of sonority, is called the “coda” (closing segment of the syllable) and its presence is optional.

A coda-less syllable of the form CV [ti:], CCV [trai], CCCV [strͻ:] is called an open syllable (or covered), while a syllable that has a coda (VC [it], VCC [a:sk], VCCC, [a:sks] etc.) is called a closed syllable (or covered).

Thus, syllable can be abstracted as a consonant-vowel-consonant syllable, abbreviated as CVC. Languages vary greatly in the restrictions on the sounds making up the onset, nucleus and coda of a syllable. These are restrictions on the number and type of segments that can combine to form syllables and words and they vary greatly from one language to another.

The syllabic structure of a language like its phonemic structure is patterned which means that sounds of the language can be grouped into syllables according to certain rules (phonotactic rules). Phonotactic possibilities of a language determine the rules of syllable division and the capability of consonant and vowel phonemes to be combined. In our research we tried to investigate the nature of the coda substructures of the syllable — VC(coda 1), VCC(coda 2), VCCC (coda 3), VCCCC (coda 4) and all the possible variants of codas with maximal allowable components in the syllable and their combinability with the nucleus. The investigations are based on the materials taken from “English pronouncing dictionary”15th ed.by D. Jones,ed.by P.Roach,I.Hartman-Cambridge,1997.

The analysis of the internal structure of syllables in English words has shown that in the position of the nucleus we may find all the English vowel phonemes and they combine with the elements of the coda (consonants) according to phonotactic rules of the language.

The analysis of the nature of nucleus in English syllables gives us grounds to affirm that all the 20 vowel phonemes of English may perform the functions of syllable nucleus in English words.

The analysis of codas in words has shown that the English language allows syllable codas with one, two, three and four consonants. So in English the syllable is formed by any vowel alone or in combination with one or more consonants — not more than four in codas. The analysis of English codas of the type VC [i:t], VCC [i:ts], VCCC [a:sks], VCCCC [(t)eksts] and the distribution of phonemes in these subtypes give us the ground to speak about the following results.

According to the number of participating segments in a syllable the following types may be distinguished- light, heavy and super-heavy.

English syllable codas with one consonant (coda 1) may form 20 combinations with the nucleus out of possible 24 combinations. Among all the 24 consonant phonemes of English, the phonemes [h, w, j, and r] cannot be combined with any type of nucleus.

The number of consonants which can be found in the final position of the codas with three consonants (coda 3) is 4, i.e. the consonants [t,s,z and Ɵ].

In codas with four consonants in the final position (coda 4) the only consonant phoneme [s] is found.

Table 1

Nucleus

Coda 1 v+c

Coda 2 v+c+c

Coda 3 v+c+c+c

Coda 4 v+c+c+c+c

English consonants

E

N

G

L

I

S

H

V

O

W

E

L

P

H

O

N

E

M

E

S

p]

[(l)æmp]

-

-

P

[(l)æb]

[(b)ʌlb]

-

-

B

[it]

[i:st]

[(t)ekst]

-

T

d]

[(t)end]

-

-

D

[(k)uk]

[(t)a:sk]

-

-

K

[(l)ͻg]

-

-

-

G

[i:]

[(l)ʌntʃ]

-

-

[e]

[(r)eindƷ]

-

-

[if]

[elf]

-

-

F

v]

[(tw)elv]

-

-

V

[(t)u:ɵ]

[(t)e]

[(s)iksɵ]

-

ɵ

[(w)ið]

-

-

-

Ð

s]

[i:ts]

[a:sks]

[(t)eksts]

S

[iz]

[(b)edz]

[(b)ͻndz]

-

Z

[(w)ͻʃ]

[(w)e]

-

-

ʃ

[(r)u:Ʒ]

-

-

-

Ʒ

-

-

-

-

H

[il]

-

-

-

L

-

-

-

-

R

-

-

-

-

J

-

-

-

-

W

[(d)u:m]

-

-

-

M

n]

-

-

-

N

[(t)ʌŋ]

-

-

-

Ŋ

It is often assumed that the beginning of a syllable is similar to the beginning of a word, and the ending of a syllable is similar to the end of a word. If so, a syllable in English can contain up to three consonants at the beginning, as in strike, and up to four consonants at the end, as in texts. If so, the maximal English syllable onset can be CCCV [strͻ:] and the maximal English syllable coda is VCCCC [(t)eksts].

Investigations made in the nature of codas in English syllables allow us to make the following conclusions:

– The English language allows close syllables (codas).

– In English phonotactic rules determine which sounds are allowed or disallowed in each part of the syllable.English allows very complicated syllables- syllables may begin with up to three consonants (as in string or splash), and occasionally end with as many as four (as in prompts).

– Every subsequence contained within a sequence of consonants must obey all the phonotactic rules.

– The glottal fricative [h] and sonorants [r,j,w] never occur in the coda of a syllable.

– When a syllable coda has more than one consonant, the more sonorous sounds tend to be first, followed by less sonorant sounds. In other words, sonorant sounds tend to be closer to the syllable nucleus.

– The second consonant in a two-consonant coda cannot be [g, Ʒ, ð, h, l, r, j, w, ŋ].

– If the second consonant in a complex coda is voiced, the first consonant in the coda must also be voiced.

– Only the consonants [t,s,z and Ɵ] can be found in the three-consonant codas.

– In the position of the final element of the four-consonant coda only the following consonant is found — [s].

References:

  1. Абдуазизов А. А. Об основных проблемах системной фонологии. Ҳорижий филология N3, 2011й., Самарқанд.
  2. Abduazizov A. A. English phonetics. A theoretical course. 3-revised edition. Tashkent, 2007.
  3. Alimardanov R. A. — Pronunciation theory of English, Tashkent, 2009.
  4. Торсуев Г. П. — Вопросы фонетической структуры слова. М. — Л., 1962.
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): VCC, VCCC, VCCCC, CCCV, CCV, CVC.


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