Author Topic: Norse: Syllable length (syllable weight)  (Read 5373 times)

Offline freknu

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Norse: Syllable length (syllable weight)
« on: January 23, 2014, 06:47:36 AM »
Technically it's called "syllable weight", I believe, but "syllable length" is the traditional term and for this post it shouldn't cause any trouble.

Now, phonemically it is syllabic length, but phonetically it is rime length (I think it's called "rhyme" as well). This means that a word is fundamentally divided into one onset and one or more rimes. The onset either doesn't carry length or is always short (depending on the analysis), while the rime determines the syllabic length.



A short vowel or short consonant is considered a short element. A long vowel, diphthong, long consonant, or consonant cluster is considered a long element.

Due to the phonotactics of the language a consonant cluster following a short vowel {VCC} is equal to a long syllable with a long consonant /VCː/, thus the secondary long syllable only has a single pattern.

The following is a list of the possible syllabic patterns:

Short syllable /σ/ [ρ]
  • V — vi /ˈʋi/ we
  • VC — ber /ˈbɜr/ berry

Long syllable /σː/ [ρː]
  • Vː — /ˈnɜː/ no
  • VV — ey /ˈœy/ island
  • VːC — ár /ˈɒːr/ year
  • VVC — reis /ˈrɜis/ to raise

Long syllable /σː2/ [ρː2]
  • VCː — ill /ˈilː/ ill, bad, foul, wicked
  • (VCC →) VCːsand /ˈsɑnːd/ sand

Overlong syllable /σːː/ [ρːː]
  • VːCː — hvítt /ˈʋ̥iːtː/ white (n.)
  • VVCː — eitt /ˈɜitː/ one (n.)
  • VːCC — tómt /ˈtuːm̥t/ empty, void (n.)
  • VVCC — beisk /ˈbɜisk/ bitter (taste)

Aside from using "syllabic length" rather than the more correct "syllabic weight", would you say this is technically correct and plausible? That is, the theory behind it is valid.