Definition of syllable-timed in English:



  • (of a language) characterized by a rhythm in which syllables occur at roughly equivalent time intervals, irrespective of the stress placed on them. French is a syllable-timed language.

    Contrasted with stress-timed
    • ‘My data shows that, due to a less complex syllable structure in syllable-timed languages, c and v intervals are also produced at a far higher rate in these languages than in stress-timed languages.’
    • ‘Pronunciation difficulties of this kind are commonly found among those learners whose native tongues are syllable-timed and open-syllabled.’
    • ‘Native speakers do it automatically, but the speaker of a syllable-timed language who tries to learn a stress-timed language will probably have great trouble mastering the new arrangement of sound patterns.’
    • ‘I don't know much about this subject, but wikipedia says Finnish is a syllable-timed language, Japanese is mora-timed, and Dutch is stress-timed.’
    • ‘Japanese is a syllable-timed language with a pitch accent.’
    • ‘Learners whose mother tongue is phonemic or syllable-timed have particular problems.’
    • ‘The teacher can show them a visual contrast between the two languages to indicate that Chinese is syllable-timed while English is stress-timed.’
    • ‘The proponents of the traditional rhythm typology say that stress-timed and syllable-timed languages differ in several respects.’
    • ‘Kato et al., on the other hand, report acceptability experiments which suggest that Japanese may indeed be syllable-timed (or, strictly, ‘mora-timed’), so that lengthening a consonant sounds best if compensated by shortening of the following vowel, and vice versa.’
    • ‘But an even more common error made by non-native speakers whose mother tongue is syllable-timed is not reducing function words and other unstressed syllables enough.’