Two or more phonemes (segments) are tautosyllabic (with each other) if they occur in the same syllable. Take for instance the English word "cat", /kæt/. Since this word is monosyllabic, the three phonemes /k/, /æ/ and /t/ are tautosyllabic. They can also be described as sharing a 'tautosyllabic distribution'. However, in the French word "être" (meaning "to be", syllabified ê-tre), only the three last phones /t/ and /r/ are tautosyllabic, all members of the second syllable. (However, much of French usage involves single-syllable êtr or even êt.) Phonemes which are not tautosyllabic are heterosyllabic. For example, in the English word "mustard" /ˈmʌstərd/, /m/ and /t/ are heterosyllabic, as they are members of different syllables.

See also

  • Ambisyllabicity, sounds that are arguably shared between two syllables (such as 'rr' in British English "hurry")


  • Sihler, Andrew L (2000). Language History. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. 191. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. p. 277. ISBN 90-272-3698-4.
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