On English Syllabication Rules

Yi-Chin Fu

In the application of the IPA symbols to the teaching of English pronunciation, there are both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest advantage lies in clearing up all the seeming irregularities in the English traditional spelling system by referring the pronunciation of a word directly to the IPA symbols. However, the advantage also brings on its disadvantage because, due to long-time practice of the IPA symbols for pronunciation, to the complete disregard of the traditional not entirely unreasonable spelling system, students turn out to be entirely ignorant of the distinction between the so-called 'long' and 'short' vowels which is regularly observed in the English traditional spelling system. And the most important syllabication rules rightly rest upon such 'long'-'short' vowel distinctions. To salvage the situation, this article aims to sort out a number of practical rules, along with plenty of illustrations, to help English teachers and page editors to do a better job in syllabication in their professional performance.