Final word syllables In English And Arabic A Contrastive Study


English and Arabic languages treat the syllable as the phonological building block of words and as a basic unit of organization for a sequence of a language, it's prosody and it's stress patterns . There are two dimensions to this topic :1) Phonetically , syllables are described in English as consisting of a center which has little or no obstruction to air-flow preceded and followed by some kind of obstruction; whereas in Arabic, syllables are phonetically described as chest pulses , and 2) Phonologically , the syllable is perceived in English as a complex unit made up of nuclear and marginal elements and in Arabic it is perceived as a unit per language , i.e. each language has its own sequences of consonants and vowels besides other features like length , stress and intonation . The syllable in both languages is perceived as a phonological unit consisting of a vowel which forms the nucleus or the peak and the consonant(s) which in English forms optional initial and final margins. The latter item is treated as a group of sounds forming two bases before and after the peak. Hierarchically, the structure of the syllable consists of an onset (mostly consonants) and a rhyme which in turn consists of the nucleus (mostly vowels or on of the following consonants/ r/ ,/ l/ , /m/ ,/ n/ , and the velar nasal/ / ) and the coda which is an optional element. On the contrary, Arabic treats the syllable as an ordered symmetry of analytic units depending on the sequence of sawamit (consonants) and sawa it(vowels) with the postulate – similar to that of English- that consonants (sometimes except/ l/ ,/m/ ,/n/ ) occupy the bases of the syllable whereas vowels occupy the peak position. In English ,the syllable is either open ,i.e. one which ends with a vowel or closed which ends with a consonant. The same applies to Arabic where the open syllable (maftuh) ends with a semi- vowel (waw and ya) or a short sound, and closed syllables (muqfal) which ends with a consonant. What differs is that final word syllables in English are mainly consonant clusters of up to four consonants at the end of a word referring either to plurality, adding the past morpheme or using ordinal numbers ; whereas in Arabic, final word syllables depend on the combination of sawamit (consonants) and sawami t (vowels) which is by itself a basic part of the original word.