Definition of phonotactics in English:


plural noun

  • treated as singular The study of the rules governing the possible phoneme sequences in a language.

    • ‘These figures reflect French syllable structure constraints (phonotactics) more closely than English, which does permit most consonants and even allows multiple consonants at the ends of syllables.’
    • ‘The answer is, I don't know, though I once listened to a lecture on the phonotactics of comic-book sounds in Finnish, and I have passed many a happy hour in foreign train stations reading the comics noises in diverse languages.’
    • ‘So there will be words that always always have schwa in them, just exactly where you'd predict based on the phonotactics.’