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The types, structure and functions of syllables in English. - раздел Лингвистика, Раздел I. Сегментная фонетика Syllable Formation In English Is Based On The Phonological Opposition Vowel-C...
Syllable formation in English is based on the phonological opposition vowel-consonant. Vowels are usually syllabic while consonants are not with the exeptions of [l], [m], [n], which become syllabic in a final position preceded by a consonant or between two final consonants: bottle [bɒtl], bottom [bɒtm], button [b/ n].
A syllable is a speech unit which consists of a sound or a group of sounds one of which is heard more prominent than the others. This sound is the peak or the nucleus of syllable and is called syllabic (vowels and sonorants are usually syllabic).
The syllable consists of a vowel alone or is surrounded by consonants. Depending on it there are 4 types of them:
1) open (covered at the beginning)
2) fully open
3) fully closed
4) closed (covered at the end)
It is not difficult to count syllables in a word but it is not easy to determine the syllabic boundary e.g. ׀possi׀bility (5 syllables).
The structure of English syllables can be summarized as follows:
Ø Many syllables have one or more consonants preceding the nucleus. These make up the syllable onset: me, so, plow.
Ø Many syllables have one or more consonants, following the nucleus. They make up the syllable coda. They are traditionally known as closed syllables: cat, jump.
Ø The combination of nucleus and coda has special significance, making up the rhyming property of a syllable.
The English language has developed the closed type of a syllable as the fundamental one while in Russian it is the open type that forms the basis of syllable formation.
The other aspect of this component is syllable division. The problem of syllable division in case of intervocalic consonants and their clusters, like in such words as city, extra, standing and others.
Let us consider the first word [׀sɪtɪ]. There exist two possibilities:
the point of syllable division is after the intervocalic consonant;
the point of syllable division is inside the consonant.
In both cases the first syllable remains closed because the shot vowel should remain checked. The result of instrumentaly analyses shows, that the point of syllable division in such words is inside the intervocalic consonant.
The second case. There are two syllables in the word extra but where should the boundary between them fall?
1) [e-kstrə]. It is unlike that people would opt for a division between [e] and [kstrə] because there are no syllables in English which begin with consonant sequence [kstr].
2) Similarly, a division between [eksr] and [ə] would be unnatural.
3) [ek-strə], [eks-trə], [ekst-rə] are possible. People usually prefer either of the first two options here, but there no obvious way of deciding between them.
In some cases we may take into account the morphemic structure of words. For example, standing consists of two syllables; on phonemic grounds [stǽn-dɪŋ], on grammatical grounds [stǽnd-ɪŋ].
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