Author Topic: IPA - syllable breaks  (Read 10661 times)

Offline brittk

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IPA - syllable breaks
« on: August 13, 2018, 03:07:02 AM »

When using IPA, I am aware that <.> (full stop) represents a syllable break.
However, I have also read that a <-> can also be used? Is this correct? If so, is it simply a matter of personal preference, or is one considered better or more appropriate than the other? Also, what kind of hyphen is it (is it an em dash, regular hypen, etc?)

Thanks for your help!

Offline panini

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Re: IPA - syllable breaks
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 08:07:28 AM »
I can't say that I have ever seen anyone notate syllable breaks with a hyphen. If you want to know about the IPA, the absolutely authoritative source is Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, which you can get, used, for around $15. The official and authorized symbol for syllable breaks is the period. Unfortunately, there are many informal versions of the IPA out there which mix together systems and terminology.

If you want an official version of the IPA, I recommend looking at the association's charts online at

Offline Daniel

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Re: IPA - syllable breaks
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 08:56:48 AM »
The use of a hyphen is, however, standard for marking morpheme boundaries, usually not in the context of a phonetic transcription (unless your orthography happens to be IPA, as is the case, rarely, for some descriptive grammars, but then just as normal letters not in slashes/brackets).

I suppose you might end up with a transcription between slashes that has hyphens to show morpheme boundaries, but just like word boundaries, that is usually not marked in IPA, and as far as I know not standard/recommended, and either way not narrowly a phonological (but morphological) question. In doing so, you'd be mixing up several tiers of description and it could get confusing fast.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 09:13:31 AM by Daniel »
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