Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bengali; Bangla
      • Home Country:
      • Bangladesh
      • Current Location:
      • Bangladesh

    • Join Date: Mar 2012
    • Posts: 5
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Problem understanding Tonic Syllables and Onset Syllables

    I am having a hard time understanding what is a tonic syllable and an onset syllable. I missed the lecture at my University on this, and my friend who attended tried briefing it to me.

    What I understood from her briefing is: a tonic syllable is the stressed syllable of the main word of a sentence. As in: She lives in London.

    But I am not sure if it's a correct definition/example.

    About onset syllables, I have only the definition: The syllables that establish a pitch that stays constant up to the tonic syllable are called onset syllables, as in: She lives in London. but my friend said that "Lon" is tonic syllable and "don" is an onset syllables.

    I don't speak English as my native language and neither did I study in an English medium school; may be that's why I am having a tough time understanding the definitions.

    I'd appreciate any sort of help regarding this, I have my final exam tomorrow and I feel helpless.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Problem understanding Tonic Syllables and Onset Syllables

    Only a brief answer, as intonation is not my strong point. Your friend's explanation of 'tonic syllable' is, broadly speaking, correct. The onset syllable is the one bearing a secondary stress that starts the pitch. In your sentence, 'lives' is the onset, 'Lon' the tonic.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 4,841
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Problem understanding Tonic Syllables and Onset Syllables

    Yes; one additional way to think about the distinction is to note that tonic accent syllables are clearly stronger and louder than the others; onset accented syllables are set apart more by rhythm and a sing-song tone of voice, as seen in Italian: internazion'ale.

    That's the way I learnt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Only a brief answer, as intonation is not my strong point. Your friend's explanation of 'tonic syllable' is, broadly speaking, correct. The onset syllable is the one bearing a secondary stress that starts the pitch. In your sentence, 'lives' is the onset, 'Lon' the tonic.

Similar Threads

  1. syllables
    By euncu in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2010, 17:55
  2. Syllables
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2008, 20:11
  3. syllables
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2007, 20:28
  4. Can we do without syllables?
    By paulinkap in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-May-2007, 12:59
  5. Syllables
    By Ajax-Milan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Dec-2004, 03:12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •