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In linguistics, suprasegmentals are contrastive elements of speech that cannot be easily analyzed as distinct segments but rather belong to a syllable or word. These elements include intonation, stress and juncture. In some languages nasality and vowel harmony are considered suprasegmental or prosodic by some phonologists.[1][2] Suprasegmentals can be very important in understanding speech as they can change the meaning of a sentence or even a word. In certain languages the stress can indicate the tense or even mean something else entirely.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, F.R. (1970). Prosodic Analysis. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Firth, J.R. (1948). "Sounds and Prosodies". Transactions of the Philological Society: 127–52.