Syllable structure in Tatar: from data to modeling

Alfiya Galieva


A quantitative analysis of syllable structures is the first and necessary stage to build the syllable model of a language and further theoretical generalizations. The paper studies the syllable structure of Tatar words on text data. The author abandoned the idea of using dictionaries as a data source, because dictionaries contain a large amount of loanwords with uncommon syllabic structures; besides dictionaries fix words in their initial form and do not reflect affixal chains of words. The work is based on distinguishing sonorant and obstruent consonants. The analysis disclosed that in Tatar the syllables of simple structure prevail, the open (of cv and sv types) and closed ones (of cvs, svs, cvc, svc types). Complex intervocal clusters are not frequent; joining inflection affixes in many cases leads to redistributing consonant groups into syllables of a simpler structure. The distribution of syllables types in monosyllables in the text is largely determined by the number of frequently used functional words and pronouns. The main focus of the work is on the patterns of the initial and final syllables of words. The author ascertained the dissimilar structure of the onsets and codas in the initial and final syllables, caused by different phonological organization of stems and affixal chains.

Full Text:

PDF (Russian)


Kohler K. J. “Is the syllable a phonological universal?”, in Journal of Linguistics, 1966, 2, pp. 207–208.

Zakiev M.Z. (ed.) The Tatar grammar [Tatarskaya grammatika]. Kazan: Tatar publishing House, 1993, vol. 1, 584 p.

Khisamova F.M. Tatar grammar [Tatar grammatikası]. Kazan: Institute of Language, Literature and Art, 2015. Vol. 1. 512 p.

Kodzasov S. V., Murav’eva I. A. “Syllable and word rhythmics in Alutor” [Slog i ritmika slova v alyutorskom yazyke] in Publikatsii otdeleniya strukturnoi i prikladnoi lingvistiki MGU. Filologicheskii fakul’tet. No. 9. Moscow: Lomonosov Moscow State Univ., 1980, pp.103–127.

Hulst van der H., Ritter N. A. “Theories of the syllable”, in The syllable: Views and facts. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999, pp. 13 — 52.

Hulst van der H., Ritter N. A. The syllable: Views and facts. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999. 777 p.

Russo D. (ed.) The Notion of Syllable across History, Theories and Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 624 p.

Zörnig P. et al. Quantitative Insights into Syllabic Structures / P. Zörnig, K. Stachowski, A. Rácová, Y, Qu, l Místecký, K. Ma, M. Lupea, E. Kelih, V. Gröller, H. Gnatchuk, A. Galieva, S. Andreev, G. Altmann. — Lüdenscheid: RAM-Verlag, 2019. 134 p.

Prince A., Smolensky P. Optimality Theory: Constraint interaction in generative grammar. Technical Report CU-CS-696-93, Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1993. Available: URL:

Féry C., Vijver van de R. (eds.) The Syllable in Optimality Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 415 p.

Aşliyan R., Günel K. “Design and Implementation for Extracting Turkish Syllables and Analyzing Turkish Syllables”, in INISTA 2005, International Symposium on INnovations in Intelligent SysTems and Applications, 2005, pp. 170-173.

Knyazev S.V. The structure of the phonetic word in Russian: synchrony and diachrony [Struktura foneticheskogo slova v russkom jazyke: sinhronija i diahronija]. Moscow: Max-Press, 2006/ - 224 p.

Andreev S. “Distribution of Syllables in Russian Sonnets”, in Glottometrics. 2018, vol. 41, pp.13-23.

Moroz G. A. “Adyghe syllable structure: From empirical data to generalizations” [Slogovaja struktura adygejskogo jazyka: ot dannyh k obobshhenijam]. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2019, 2, pp. 82–95.

Kelih E., Mačutek J. “Number of canonical syllable types: A continuous bivariate model”, in Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 2013, 20, pp. 241-251.

Dinu, L., Dinu A. "On the data base of Romanian syllables and some of its quantitative and cryptographic aspects.", in LREC, 2006, pp. 1795-1798.

R Core Team. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2018. Available: URL:

Grolemund G., Wickham H. R for Data Science: Import, Tidy, Transform, Visualize, and Model Data. Sebastopol: O’Reilly, 2017. 494 p.

Conover W.J. (1999). Practical Nonparametric Statistics. New York: Wiley, 1999. 584 p.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Abava  Absolutech Fruct 2020

ISSN: 2307-8162