The Structure And Function Of Heavy Syllables English Language Essay

English belongs to the group of emphasis linguistic communication, and it is widely acknowledged that word emphasis is gathered by syllables. The construction of syllables is comprised of oncoming and rime, and the rime can be separated into karyon and finale. However, if an English word has two syllables or even more, how can we despatch the emphasis? The first idea is heavy syllables, but how can a syllable be heavy? This essay is traveling to discourse the construction of heavy syllables and their map between syllable construction and emphasis.

The construction of heavy syllable

By and large talking, the weight of syllables can be categorized into two groups, heavy and light syllables. There are two methods to constellate these two classs ; one is based on the syllabic constituency, and the other is moras ( Hayes, 1995: 51 ) . Syllabic constituency can be explained by two theories: CV Theory, and X Theory, which are cited by Hayes ( 1989: 253 ) . However, Hayes claims that X Theory is more preferred to research workers since it can evidently demo the construction of rich syllables based on upper nodes. The cases are given below:

CV Theory

C

B

E?

Volt

/bE?/

/bE?t/

C

B

E?

Volt

T

C

/bi/

C

B

I

Volt

Volt

/bit/

C

B

I

Volt

Volt

C

T

Ten Theory

( O represents oncoming, R represents rime, and N stands for karyon. )

I?

I?

Roentgen

Oxygen

Ten

Ten

B

E?

/bE?/

/bi/

/bit/

I?

Roentgen

Oxygen

Ten

Ten

/bE?t/

Ten

B

E?

T

Roentgen

Oxygen

Ten

B

Ten

Ten

I

I?

Roentgen

Oxygen

Ten

B

Ten

Ten

I

Ten

T

Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Nitrogen

|

Nitrogen

|

In footings of constituency of syllables, if a syllable has a ramification rime, it is regarded as a heavy syllable ; that is, a rime includes at least two slots ( Hogg and McCully, 1987:38 ; Hayes, 1995: 51 ) , and for long vowels, one section contains two slots. In the linguistic communication of English, diagram a represents a light syllable, whereas B, degree Celsius, and vitamin D are heavy syllables. However, there is one exclusion. Harmonizing to Carr ( 1999:90 ) , a syllable with ramifying rime can non be a heavy syllable is due to the shwa vowel. Hence, CVC is non precisely a heavy syllable.

Apart from syllabic constituency, mora is the other attack to measure heavy or light syllables. Harmonizing to Hayes ( 1989: 254 ) , “ the mora has a double function in this theory. ” The first function is the evident differentiation between visible radiation and heavy syllables, that is, there are two morae in a heavy syllable while there is merely one mora in a light syllable. The 2nd is “ phonological place, ” which means that long vowels have two links. These two functions are similar to X Theory, but Hayes ( 1989: 258 ) farther illustrates CVC as either a heavy syllable or a light syllable via “ weight by place: ” if a linguistic communication has “ weight by place ” regulation, a closed syllable is a heavy, because the map of this regulation is to bring forth two morae. Therefore, the cases in X Theory can be divided into two groups as below:

I?

/bE?/

/bi/

/bit/

I?

/bE?t/

B

I?

E?

B

I?

E?

I?

T

I?

B

I?

I

I?

I?

B

I?

I

I?

T

In case ( 3 ) , a is considered as a light syllable, whereas the other three are heavy syllables.

( 4 )

I?

/bE?/

/bi/

/bit/

I?

/bE?t/

B

I?

E?

B

I?

E?

T

I?

B

I?

I

I?

I?

B

I?

I

I?

T

In illustration ( 4 ) , both a and B are light syllables, while degree Celsiuss and vitamin D are still heavy syllables.

The two advantages of moraic theory are subsequently explicated by Hayes ( 1995: 53 ) . First of all, in contrast to CV Theory and X Theory, moraic theory simply depicts morae in a syllable without ciphering sections. For case, /bE?/ and /i/ in syllabic constituency theories are marked as two sections, but they are non demonstrated in moraic theory. Second, moraic theory can stand for the compensation of process for the eliminated or shortened sections in that the measures of morae either in the sequence of input or end product are tantamount.

No affair which theory is better, Szigetvari ( 2005: 43 ) concludes that these theories indicate the thought that the rule of stress division is non determined by syllable nodes. He farther states that in English if and merely if a long vowel or a rhymal consonant is included in a syllable, that syllable is heavy. In other words, CVC is a heavy syllable under this status.

Syllable construction and emphasis

English is considered to be a stress linguistic communication so the association between syllable construction and emphasis are important. Giegerich ( 1992: 182 ) summarizes two salient points about the correlativity. The first 1 is that “ stressed syllable must be heavy, while unstressed syllables may be light, ” and a complex rime must be contained in a monosyllabic or polysyllabic word. The 2nd is the thought of ambisyllabicity based on the syllable boundary regulation, which makes a stressed syllable either heavy or light.

Giegerich ( 1992: 183-189 ) categorizes the emphasis of English words into two groups: concluding emphasis and non-final emphasis. In concluding emphasis group, a light syllable ne’er topographic points at the terminal of a word and some illustrations provided by Giegerich show the juncture of secondary emphasis on both heavy syllables in one word. Giegerich subsequently elucidates some exclusions in the illustrations he provides, such as finance, based on change of two heavy syllables, from secondary emphasis to primary emphasis. On the contrary, if a word with concluding emphasis consists of light-heavy syllables, the fluctuation of heavy-light syllables is impossible. Although there are some English words with concluding emphasis, cases of nouns in concluding emphasis are infrequently occurs compared with illustrations of adjectives and verbs. Similarly, non-final emphasis is usually determined by syllable weight, but it is non ever the same instance. Provided that a penultimate syllable is heavy, it is stressed ; if it is non, so the antepenultimate syllable emphasiss. Hence, on the footing of these two groups, Giegerich concludes that the place of emphasis in some words is able to say, but some are non. In add-on to that, syllable weight may be the ground to foretell the arrangement of emphasis.

The factor of syllable weight is besides related to metrical phonemics ( Giegerich, 1992: 193 ) . Between syllable degree and word emphasis degree, there is a bed called pes degree. Foot degree is constructed by some syllables as pess or a pes, and on pes degree, the stressed syllable is the first 1 in a pes ; hence, the construction of pess reoccurs. Furthermore, binary construction of foot degree is exploited if there are more than two syllables. Three diagrams are displayed as below:

( 5 )

( Giegerich, 1992: 195 )

a.

Tungsten

Second

Second

Tungsten

degree Celsiuss.

Second

Second

Tungsten

B.

Tungsten

Second

Second

Tungsten

Tungsten

Second

Tungsten

S represents that the syllable is stronger than the W 1 on pes degree.

The undermentioned illustrations shown in Giegeirch ‘s book ( 1992: 196 and 197 ) besides illustrate how syllables construct foot degree. Pity and happy have two syllables but they merely consist of one pes as a SW construction because they are bisyllabic pes. Rabbi and bamboo have two pess because they have two heavy syllables, as SW and WS constructions, severally. Kangaroo and nightingale likewise have two pess because of two heavy syllables. However, non all two heavy syllables have two pess. July, which is comprised of one syllable and one pes, is a good case for this.

Although the above illustrations exemplify the formation of pess, Giegeirch ( 1992: 197 ) suspects the analysis of it because of the dispute of hierarchal metrical construction in the illustration of July. Consequently, Giegeirch ( 1992: 198-204 ) proposes the regulations of foot-level and word degree building particularly for nouns. There are four stairss for administering the pes of nouns, and the attack of distribution Begins from right syllable to left 1s. Initially, if the concluding syllable has a long vowel, or if it is a heavy syllable, the pes is allocated. Second, a heavy bisyllabic pes is allocated to penultimate syllable. Subsequently, a heavy initial syllable is allocated with a pes to a penultimate syllable. Finally, the residuary syllables are allocated with bi- or trisyllabic pes, and a pes as a lower limit in a word should be confirmed. After the regulation of pes degree building, all elements of pess are assembled into word degree. On word degree, S and W distribution is in rule the same as the diagram ( 5 ) given above, but there are still some exclusions, such as cavalcade, which consists of upper W and S, and the upper W subdivisions into lower S and W. Likewise, if there are more than three pess, they are determined by the thought of binary in the diagram ( 5 ) every bit good.

In add-on to the above regulation, Giegerich ( 1992: 204 ) besides states “ word prominence regulation ” as another attack to make up one’s mind the pes assignment. If a vocabulary has a brace of nodes, the latter node is strong on any of the three conditions: ( I ) the latter node “ subdivisions above the syllable degree, ” ( two ) the vocabulary “ is an exceeding noun, ” or ( three ) the vocabulary “ is a verb. ”

So far, the correlativity between syllable and emphasis has demonstrated how syllable weight assists the assignment of emphasis in phonological attack ( Giegerich, 1992: 204 ) , but the above account does non depict the characteristic of the unstressed heavy syllables. Harmonizing to Kreidler ( 1989: 81 ) , unstressed heavy syllables have four similarities to stressed syllables. The initial point is that a shwa ne’er occurs in a heavy syllable, which is mentioned in X Theory. Second, the oncoming of an unstressed heavy syllable is more obvious than the other oncoming of unstressed syllables. One of Kreidler ‘s cases is /p/ in caterpillar, which is clearer than the unstressed oncoming /t/ . Next, when the oncoming of a heavy unstressed syllable is comprised of voiceless Michigans, the voiceless Michigan of the oncoming are aspirated. The cases are besides shown in Krdidler ‘s book: /t/ in penetrate is different from the /t/ in caterpillar, since the former /t/ is aspired whereas the latter is non. Last but non least, it is possible for a heavy syllable to be a stressed syllable. This can explicate why the emphasis of some words may change, if they accompany other words. The illustrations are shown in Giegerich ‘s book ( 1992: 185 ) : from cham’pagne to ‘cham, pagne ‘breakfast, and from ho’tel to ‘ho, tel ‘management.

Decision

This essay has discussed the construction of heavy syllables, and there are three attacks to specify a heavy syllable from syllable weight. CV Theory and X Theory usage sections to organize the form of syllables. That is, VV, CVV, CVCC, and CVVCC ( Rogers, 2000: 267 ) are decidedly considered as heavy syllables because they have a ramification rime, whereas CVC is flexible, either a heavy syllable or a light one. On the other manus, the manner of sorting a heavy syllable in moraic theory is based on the figure of morae. Although the moraic theory is extremely supported by Hayes ( 1995 ) , I still use syllabic constituency to analyse the English emphasis form because moraic theory disregards the construction of syllables.

The relation between syllabic construction and emphasis indicates that it is the heavy syllables that distinguish from the other syllables in a word, doing the word has its stressed syllable and unstressed syllables. However, non all unstressed syllables are light since if a word has two heavy syllables, merely one of them is stressed. This manifests that heavy syllables do non hold the map of word emphasis finding, but at least they to some extent play a outstanding function on the place of emphasis.

Metrical phonemics further explicates the pes degree between syllable construction and emphasis, clear uping how emphasis is determined. Similarly, heavy syllables are of import component on pes degree ramification, because they are first to be considered. Furthermore, binary duality is applied to every degree of the distribution of S and W. Accordingly, the map of a heavy syllable can be described as one of the implements to understand how stress plants. Finally, the unstressed heavy syllables besides have some correspondent to a stressed syllable.

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