• (RP) enPR: sĭlă'bĭfĭkāʹshən, IPA: /sɪˌlæbɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/

syllabification (uncountable)

  1. the division of a word into syllables.
    • 1764 September, Tobias George Smollett [ed.], The Critical Review: or, Annals of Literature, volume 18, article 23: “Review of William Johnſton’s A Pronouncing and Spelling Dictionary, &c.”, page 237 ↗
      Our author has eſtabliſhed clear practicable rules for articulation, and conſequently for facilitating to foreigners the pronouncing and ſyllabification of the Engliſh language; and that upon principles which are in common to all languages.
    • 1926, Henry Watson Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (first edition, 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.
    • 1999, Ingo Plag, Morphological Productivity: Structural Constraints in English Derivation, § 7.1.2, page 203 ↗
      Syllábify is a back-formation from syllabification, which in turn seems to be coined directly on the basis of Latin syllabificare.
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