If a sound has a [+syllabic] feature, it indicates that the sound has the property to form the nucleus of a syllable. [+syllabic] also indicates the sound has a higher amplitude in comparison to sounds that are [-syllabic] as a result of little to no constriction in the vocal tract (Zsiga, 2013, p. 258). All vowels are considered to be [+syllabic], while consonants are [-syllabic].

The sounds which are enclosed in the chart below indicate which sounds share the feature [+syllabic]. All sounds not enclosed in the chart are [-syllabic].


  • Hul’q’umi’num
    • The following chart illustrates the phonemes in Hul’q’umi’num’ which may be. part of the [+syllabic] natural class. Those sounds enclosed in blue are [+syllabic].
Adapted from Suttles (2003, p. 3)
  • Skwxwú7mesh
    • The following chart illustrates the [+syllabic] natural class in Skwxwú7mesh.
Adapted from Dyck (2004).

  • Secwepemctsín
    • The following sounds enclosed in blue are a potential natural class of [+syllabic] in Secwepemctsín.
Adapted from Gibson (1973).