Theories of syllable formation and syllable division


There are different points of view on syllable formation) which aге briefly the following.

“”The most ancient theory states that there are as many syllablies in a word as there are vowels. This theory is primitive and insuffi­cient since it does not take into consideration consonants which also can form syllables in some languages, neither does it explain the boundary of syllables.

The expiratory theory states that there are as many syllables in я word as there arc expiration pulses. The borderline between thesyllables is, according to this theory, the moment of the weakest ex­piration. This theory is inconsistent because_it_ is quite possiblejo pronounce several syllables in one articulatory effort or expiration,e.g. seeing /’siiirj/.

The sonority theory stales that there are as many syllables in a word as there are peaks of prominence or sonority.

Speech sounds pronounced with uniform force, length and pitch, differ in inherent prominence or sonority. For example, when the Rus­sian vowels /а, о, э, у, и/ are pronounced on one and the same level, their acoustic intensity, or sonority is different: the strongest is /a/, then go /о, э, у, и/.

O. Jespersen established the scale of sonority of sounds, that is, the scale of their inherent prominence. According to this scale the most sonorous are back vowels (low, mid, high), then go semi-vowels and sonorants, then – voiced and voiceless consonants.



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