Meaning of suprasegmental in English:


Pronunciation /ˌsuːprəsɛɡˈmɛntl/


  • Denoting a feature of an utterance other than the consonantal and vocalic components, for example (in English) stress and intonation.

    ‘The general aim of this work was to analyze the suprasegmental features of the male voice during a seductive interaction compared with the characteristics of neutral speech.’
    • ‘On the basis of our present data analyses, it is, however, not possible to judge whether the problem is at a segmental level, suprasegmental level, or both.’
    • ‘The move towards writing poetry down deprived it of music, perhaps, certainly of the suprasegmental qualities of pitch, timbre, etc., which are personal in a physiological sense.’


  • A suprasegmental feature.

    ‘The English consonant sounds and suprasegmentals also present difficulties for native speakers of Spanish.’
    • ‘They discover, for example, that, unlike sounds, suprasegmentals can change according to meaning.’
    • ‘Just taking a look at the symbols for suprasegmentals, you can see that there's a lot of detail to account for.’
    • ‘In English, for example, suprasegmentals play a very important role in perception and comprehension because a listener gets the cue from the suprasegmentals in oral communication.’
    • ‘In contrast, there is research that indicates that the teacher can make a noticeable difference if certain criteria, such as the teaching of suprasegmentals and the linking of pronunciation with listening practice, are fulfilled.’