Definition of suprasegmental in English:



  • Denoting a feature of an utterance other than the consonantal and vocalic components, for example (in English) stress and intonation.

    • ‘The general aim of this work was to analyze the suprasegmental features of the male voice during a seductive interaction compared with the characteristics of neutral speech.’
    • ‘On the basis of our present data analyses, it is, however, not possible to judge whether the problem is at a segmental level, suprasegmental level, or both.’
    • ‘The move towards writing poetry down deprived it of music, perhaps, certainly of the suprasegmental qualities of pitch, timbre, etc., which are personal in a physiological sense.’


  • A suprasegmental feature.

    • ‘They discover, for example, that, unlike sounds, suprasegmentals can change according to meaning.’
    • ‘In English, for example, suprasegmentals play a very important role in perception and comprehension because a listener gets the cue from the suprasegmentals in oral communication.’
    • ‘The English consonant sounds and suprasegmentals also present difficulties for native speakers of Spanish.’
    • ‘Just taking a look at the symbols for suprasegmentals, you can see that there's a lot of detail to account for.’
    • ‘In contrast, there is research that indicates that the teacher can make a noticeable difference if certain criteria, such as the teaching of suprasegmentals and the linking of pronunciation with listening practice, are fulfilled.’