English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

First attested in 1631; from the Medieval Latin sillabicātio, syllabicātio, noun of action of the verb syllabicō, from syllaba (syllable).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

syllabication (countable and uncountable, plural syllabications)

  1. The act of syllabifying; syllabification.
    • 1631, James Mabbe, tr. of Fernando de Rojas’s 1499 The Spanish Bawd, represented in Celestina: or, The Tragicke-comedy of Calisto and Melibea, chapter 18, page 180
      I sweare unto thee by the crisse-crosse row, by the whole Alphabet, and Sillabication of the letters.
    • 1654, Joseph Brooksbank, Plain, brief, and pertinent Rules for the judicious and artificial Syllabication of all English Words, main title:
    • 1857, George Lillie Craik, The English of Shakespeare, part 2: “Philological Commentary on Shakespeare’s Julius Cæsar”, act 1, scene 1, page 73
      Instances both of the unemphatic do and of the distinct syllabication of the final ed are numerous in the present play.
    • 1926, Henry Watson Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1st ed., Oxford at the Clarendon Press), page 590, column 2, “syllabize &c.”
      syllabize &c. A verb & a noun are clearly sometimes needed for the notion of dividing words into syllables. The possible pairs seem to be the following (the number after each word means — 1, that it is in fairly common use; 2, that it is on record; 3, that it is not given in OED): — 
       syllabate 3    syllabation 2
       syllabicate 2    syllabication 1
       syllabify 2      syllabification 1
       syllabize 1     syllabization 3
      One first-class verb, two first-class nouns, but neither of those nouns belonging to that verb. It is absurd enough, & any of several ways out would do; that indeed is why none of them is taken. The best thing would be to accept the most recognized verb syllabize, give it the now non-existent noun syllabization, & relegate all the rest to the Superfluous words; but there is no authority both willing & able to issue such decrees.

Translations edit

References edit

  • Syllabication” listed on page 357 of volume IX, part II (Su–Th) of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles [1st ed., 1919]
      Syllabication (silæbikēi·ʃən). [ad. med.L. sill-, syllabicātio, -ōnem, n. of action f. syllabicāre, f. syllaba.] = Syllabification. [¶] 1631 [Mabbe] Celestina xviii. 180, I sweare unto thee by the crisse-crosse row, by the whole Alphabet, and Sillabication of the letters. 1654 Brooksbank (title) Plain, brief, and pertinent Rules for the..Syllabication of all English Words 1754 Goodall Exam. Lett. Mary Q. Scots I. v. 110 The syllabication of the Scottish word nouther..had been changed, after the English orthography, into neither. 1791 Burns Let. Wks. (Globe) 496 Thou faithful recorder of barbarous idiom: thou persecutor of syllabication. 1863 Nuttall Standard Dict. Pref., Orthography..comprehends the correct spelling and syllabication of words. [¶] b. The action of making syllabic; pronunciation as a distinct syllable. [¶] 1857 Craik English of Shaks., Jul. C. i. i. (1869) 73 The distinct syllabication of the final ed.
  • syllabication” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd ed., 1989]