Closed versus Open Syllables


Closed syllables refer to syllables which contain a coda and are therefor “closed” by the syllable-final consonant. Open syllables are syllables which do not contain a coda and are left with the nucleus being syllable-final (Zsiga, 2013).



The word /híhilʔit/ ‘roll’ demonstrate open versus closed syllables. The first syllable is open as it does not contain a coda, whereas the second two syllables are closed as they contain codas (Dyck, p. 142, 2004)