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Re: syllable/word breaks

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Saturday, February 14, 2004, 5:56
Alexandre Lang wrote:
> > supposing a pronouncd a sentence very fast without any breaks to someone. > Supposing also that that person knows the language, or at least all the > rules of the language, but not any of the words in the sentence. Would > that person be able to determine where syllables cut? where words cut?
Depends on what you mean by "very fast" and on the language. :-) If it's not too fast for the hearer to make out individual sounds, than syllable breaks should be easily definable for *most* languages (but a few, like English, defy unambiguous syllabification). In some languages, you could figure out most of the word breaks (but things like articles, prepositions, pronouns, etc, might not be parsable), in others you'd have no hope. Generally, if a language has a nice simply stress rule like "initial syllables stressed" or "final syllables stressed", and a simple phonology (e.g., CV) you'd be able to break it up into words. But, if a language is like English, for example, and stress is variable, you'd have no clue, and a language that allows consonant clusters would create ambiguities between, e.g., _miklas tran_ and _miklast ran_ and _mikla stran_ (assuming none of these violate the language's phonotactics). -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42