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Categories : language : english : pronunciation : syllable.p

What words have an exceptional number of letters per syllable?


Solution
longest for each number of syllables 
  one SCRAUNCHED (10) [SQUIRRELLED (11)] two SCRATCHBRUSHED (14)
  one, for each letter  ARCHED, BROUGHAMS, CRAUNCHED, DRAUGHTS,
    EARTHED, FLINCHED, GROUCHED, HAUNCHED, ITCHED, JOUNCED, KNIGHTS,
    LAUNCHED, MOOCHED, NAUGHTS, OINKED, PREACHED, QUETCHED, REACHED,
    SCRAUNCHED, THOUGHTS, UMPHS, VOUCHED, WREATHED, XYSTS, YEARNED,
    ZOUAVES
  two, for each letter  ARCHFIENDS, BREAKTHROUGHS, CLOTHESHORSE,
    DRAUGHTBOARDS, EARTHTONGUES, FLAMEPROOFED, GREATHEART,
    HAIRSBREADTHS, INTHRALLED, JUNETEENTHS, KNICKKNACKS, LIGHTWEIGHTS,
    MOOSETONGUES, NIGHTCLOTHES, OUTSTRETCHED, PLOUGHWRIGHTS,
    QUICKTHORNS, ROUGHSTRINGS, SCRATCHBRUSHED, THROATSTRAPS,
    UNSTRETCHED, VERSESMITHS, WHERETHROUGH, XANTHINES, YOURSELVES,
    ZEITGEISTS

shortest for each number of syllables 
  two AA (2)
  three AREA (4) [O'IO (3)]
  four IEIE (4)
  five OXYOPIA (7)
  six ONIOMANIA (9) [AMIOIDEI (8)]
  seven EPIDEMIOLOGY (12) [OMOHYOIDEI (10)]
  eight EPIZOOTIOLOGY (13)
  nine EPIZOOTIOLOGICAL (16)
  ten EPIZOOTIOLOGICALLY (18)
  twelve HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUAA (21)

--
I think I remember that in the 1940's, a linguist (may have actually
been Whorf?) concluded that the longest English syllable in terms of
sounds (phonemes) -- not letters -- was "thou triumphedst" (presumably
based on a pronunciation of it as [traimpftst]).  Of course, this
involves some cheating (relying on fast speech coalescence of two
syllables into one, using archaic 1600's ending, etc.), but it's cute
in its way...

Henry Churchyard   churchh@usa.net   http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/
--

****
All unbracketed words occur in Webster's Third New International
Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Springfield, MA, 1961.




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