Syllabic Consonants In English Language

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Syllables in English have a three-part structure, that is the onset, nucleus and coda. Nucleus are usually vowels, but in some cases the nucleus could be filled by a syllabic consonant. In English, syllabic consonants are either nasal or liquid consonants. Syllabic consonants are written phonetically with a small mark underneath them as follows /ṃ, ṇ, ḷ/, this represents the omitted schwa pronounced within the consonant. The nasal consonants are /n/ as in number /nəmbər/, /m/ as on moon / mun/, and / ŋ/ as in ring / rɪŋ/. The syllabic n as in the word button forms a syllable on its own. In some transcriptions a schwa precedes the n. However, in connected speech the schwa is dropped and the n is a syllable without a vowel. Syllabic m is used…show more content…
Roach explains that the terms “strong” and “weak” refer to the phonetic characteristics of the syllables also described in terms of stress, where strong syllables are stressed and weak syllables unstressed. He also points out that strong syllables have a vowel phoneme as its peak, whereas weak syllables can only have the weak sounds /І/ and /ə/ or the syllabic consonants /ṃ, ṇ, ḷ/ at its peak. Gimson (1975:33) mentions that an important feature of English pronunciation is that unstressed syllables are usually weak and have obscure qualities. Akinjobi (2004) however notes that some features of English are in the usage of vowels and syllables found in unstressed syllables. These vowels are shortened and become of lower intensity because usually, a vowel that occurs in an unstressed position is reduced to a schwa /ə/ or omitted completely. In some cases, usually at word boundaries, the omitted vowel is replaced by syllabic consonants which then form the peak of that unstressed syllable. Syllabic consonants in modern English are found in unstressed syllables were the vowel that proceeds them is

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