Phonology of Persian language
The syllable patterns of Persian are as follows (C = Consonant, V = Vowel):
na, to, ke, mâ, khu, si, u
نه، تو، که، ما، خو، سی، او
kar, pol, del, kâr, mur, sir, az, in, âb
کر، پل، دل، کار، مور، سیر، از، این، آب
kard, goft, zesht, kârd, khoshk, rikht, farsh, ârd, abr
کرد، گفت، زشت، کارد، خشک، ریخت، فرش، آرد، ابر
These patterns can be encapsulated in CV(C)(C). According to the patterns:
- Syllables always begin with a consonant sound. Even syllables that begin with a vowel sound, have a preceding glottal stop merged with their sound. It is due to the fact that in Persian, all vowels occurring at the beginning of a syllable are articulated with a glottal stop. For example, u is actually pronounced øu, ârd is pronounced øârd and so on.
- The second component of syllables is always a vowel (or a diphthong).
- Syllables can have only one vowel sound. Therefore, each vowel sound indicates a syllable.
The basic rule for breaking a word into its syllables is: each vowel sound indicates a syllable. Therefore, two adjacent vowel sounds belong to separate syllables and are pronounced individually.
Gemination or consonant lengthening, is an articulation of a consonant for a longer period of time than that of a single instance of the same type of consonant. In English, gemination does not occur within words but for example in "calm man", you can see that the consonant m is geminated (it is pronounced twice).
In native Persian script, gemination is marked with a diacritic called tashdid ّـــ. Its place is above the consonant that is to be pronounced twice. You have to memorize words having gemination because tashdid is not normally written. When Persian is written in Latin script, gemination can be shown with double consonants (as in Italian). For example, in najjâr the two j's fall into separate syllables and therefore, the word is pronounced "naj-jâr":
The only exception is when double consonants occur at word final: since they don't fall into separate syllables, they are pronounced as one sound:
In Persian, the stress falls on the last syllable. There are only a few exceptions: bále (yes), ágar (if), ámmâ (but), zírâ (because). The acute accent ( ´ ) can be used to mark the vowel of the syllable taking the stress.
Enclitics are unstressed words that phonologically attach to their preceding word. In English, definite and indefinite articles (the, a, an) are examples for an enclitic. For educational purposes, the following enclitics are separated from their preceding word with a hyphen. You can write them separately or join them to their host word:
- genitive preposition: dust-e man, khâne-ye man
- indefinite article: mard-i, sedâ-yi
- bound personal pronouns: ketâb-ash, didam-ash
Conjugation Endings are also enclitics.