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Two vowels in one syllable (not a diphthong)

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Two vowels in one syllable (not a diphthong)

Postby Clayton » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:13 pm

Hey guys, I've got a question:

The biggest syllable in English is CCCVCCCC. Now for example we have the word "unutterable". My dictionary says the phonetic transcription of this word is ʌnʌt. ə r.ə.bl 

In the first syllable(ʌnʌt.) there are 2 vowels. Something like this:VCVC.
How is it possible to have two vowels in one syllable. As far as I know there could be clusters of consonants in one syllable but only one vowel.

Appreciate your help.
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Re: Two vowels in one syllable (not a diphthong)

Postby Josef » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:32 am

Clayton wrote:In the first syllable(ʌnʌt.) there are 2 vowels.

That is not correct :!: "unut" is 2 syllables.

The whole word unutterable has 5 syllables:

un | ut | ter | a | ble

Clayton wrote:How is it possible to have two vowels in one syllable. As far as I know there could be clusters of consonants in one syllable but only one vowel.

It's important to distinguish between vowels and vowel SOUNDS. The word "seat", for example, is one syllable with two vowels, but only one vowel sound.

Here is the definition of "syllable" from the Apple Dictionary:

syllable (noun): a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; e.g., there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.

This page about understanding syllables may also help.
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Re: Two vowels in one syllable (not a diphthong)

Postby Clayton » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:45 pm

Thanks man. Yeah ,if it's considered 2 syllables there won't be any problem. I use Cambridge Advanced Learner dictionary which shows 4 syllables for this word and the first of which is "unut". I've got no idea about it :~:
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Re: Two vowels in one syllable (not a diphthong)

Postby reindeer » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:48 pm

Hey men, I just tried to count syllables in the word 'onomatopoeia'. Do you think 6 is correct :?:
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