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Syllable onset: Wikis


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In phonetics and phonology, a syllable onset is the part of a syllable that precedes the syllable nucleus.

Syllable structure

The segmental structure of a syllable begins with an onset, followed by a rime or final.

syllable: C1(C2)V1(V2)(C3)(C 4) = onset: C1(C2) + rime: V1(V2)(C3)(C4)
syllable: V1(V2)(C3)(C4) = onset: Ø (null) + rime: V1(V2) (which is the nucleus) and the coda of this syllable is (C3)(C4) (nucleus and coda are the two parts of the rime).
(C = consonant, V = vowel, optional components are in parentheses.)

Depending on the phonotactics of a language, the onset can consist of a single consonant or a consonant cluster, or be null.

Null onset

If a syllable begins with a vowel or another syllabic sonorant, then the syllable is said to have no onset, or a null onset. (Most languages allow this possibility.) The terms null initial and zero initial are used as well. Some abjads, abugidas, and alphabets have a special zero consonant to represent a null onset. For example, in Hangul, the alphabet of the Korean language, a null onset is represented with ㅇ at the left or top section of graph, as in 역 ("south," pronounced yeok, where the diphthong yeo is the syllable nucleus and k is the coda).


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