What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

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Ehesh
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What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Ehesh » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 22:30

I have ony ran into liquids into nasals an liquids as syllabic consonants /l r m n/ I believe there are other examples but I'm not sure
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Creyeditor » Sun 17 Sep 2017, 22:54

All consonants occur as syllabic, though it is not always clear if syllables in itself are universal. Stops and fricatives are syllabic in Nuxálk and some Berber dialects. Mandarin Chinese has syllabic fricatives. I think the likelyhood of being syllabic is dependent on sonority, so you could posit a scale like the following (decreasing likelyhood for syllabicity).
vowel > liquids & nasals > fricatives > stops
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Ahzoh » Mon 18 Sep 2017, 01:11

Generally sonorants (which include nasals and approximants) are syllabic (they also tend to be voiced). You could have fricative vowels too.
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KaiTheHomoSapien
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Mon 18 Sep 2017, 05:07

Sonorants are the most common, but a few languages do have syllabic fricatives:

PIE apparently had syllabic laryngeals (which were probably velar or some other kind of guttural fricative).

Mandarin is sometimes described as having syllabic fricatives with the so-called "buzzing" consonants.

I don't know much about the Salishan languages, but I believe they are fairly extreme examples of syllabification of just about any sound (even stops).
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Thrice Xandvii
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Mon 18 Sep 2017, 08:03

Syllabic stops seem super-weird to me. Does anyone have a good example language that uses them that might also have recordings in it? I'd love to hear/see what that would be like.
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DesEsseintes
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by DesEsseintes » Mon 18 Sep 2017, 11:21

Thrice Xandvii wrote:Syllabic stops seem super-weird to me. Does anyone have a good example language that uses them that might also have recordings in it? I'd love to hear/see what that would be like.
The Wikipedia page on Nuxalk has plenty of examples.
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Iyionaku » Wed 06 Dec 2017, 11:50

You can find an audio example on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFnrp-cUTLQ

I haven't really heard a syllabic stop, though.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by eldin raigmore » Wed 06 Dec 2017, 21:27

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Mon 18 Sep 2017, 08:03
Syllabic stops seem super-weird to me. Does anyone have a good example language that uses them that might also have recordings in it? I'd love to hear/see what that would be like.
Alternate transcriptions are probably possible; and this probably doesn't apply to every 'lect of English;
but, in my 'lect of English, there's a syllabic voiced stop in < probably >;
[ pɻɐˈ b= bliˌ ]
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Frislander » Wed 06 Dec 2017, 22:53

A better example of syllabic fricatives than Mandarin is Miyako Ryukyuan, e.g. Ogami dialect pstu "person and kff "make" (the former is cognate with Japanese hito).
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Re: What phonemes occur as syllabic consonants in natlangs

Post by Pabappa » Sun 24 Dec 2017, 23:48

I can believe in syllabic fricatives, and have used syllabic /s/ in a major conlang, but I don't believe in syllabic stops. I imagine the stops of Nuxalk must be either aspirated or ejective, with no simple unreleased form. Therefore it would be acoustically impossible to hear the difference between a stop followed by a voiceless schwa and a stop in isolation.

Put another way , a true syllabic consonant should be symmetrical: it sounds the same coming and going. A stop with an audible release is not symmetric unless it is also preceded by something audible, which would then make the stop the border between two syllables.

Also, a syllabic consonant can bear stress and tone. The Mandarin syllabic fricatives are excellent examples, since they can have different tones.

I'd have to hear a clip, but I'd assume the sound in "probably" is best analyzed as a geminate stop, or a stop with delayed release, but not a syllable.

So what's goin on in Nuxalk? Those are extrasyllabic stops, just like the ones in Greek/ pt-/ words, and arguably rare english words like "tmesis", and french words like /pneu/.
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