Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



Implicit in all current theories of the syllable is some assumption of the internal configuration. Prevalent among these are the onset-rime (OR) and the moraic (μ) models, both supported by rather different types of evidence. The OR model favors an interpretation where constituency is exhaustive until the level of the segment which itself is a temporal unit with which melodic features associate. The μ-model distinguishes only what is non-moraic from what is moraic so that sub-syllabic constituency is an accidental result of projecting to/from the same mora. This paper postulates a more fundamental complex that projects into two different dimensions: melody and prosody, thus capturing the insights of both the OR and μ-models through the separation of constituency issues with prosodic ones. This approach has direct applications in figuring out two long-standing conundrums in Chinese: the status of the medial glide and the prosodic properties of tonelessness. The complex also predicts mismatches in moraicity and syllabicity as well as the mediating effect of the skeletal slots between the melodic root nodes and their moraic status.

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Keyword(s): feature; foot; mora; prosody; segment; syllable
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