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The CVX Theory Of Syllable Structure

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Chapter Summary

This chapter has two goals. The first is to offer an outline of the CVX theory of syllable structure (Duanmu 2009). The second is to address some common questions about the theory. The CVX theory is mainly a description of facts that every theory must reckon with. The chapter illustrates it in terms of rhyme size. It is well known that in English and German, non-final rhymes rarely exceed VX. The chapter considers two common reactions. The first is that the CVX theory is too radical, unlike all the familiar ones, nearly all of which assume a typology of maximal syllables and nearly all of which assume larger sizes for English than CVX. The second common reservation is that the CVX theory makes so many assumptions that it is hard to falsify.

Keywords: CVX theory; English; German; syllable structure

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