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I heard, from a Korean educational radio, “Pay attention ‘camera’ is pronounced with two syllables.” I guess it means that the word was pronounced as not /ˈkӕmərə / but /ˈkӕ-m-rə /. Do you not count as a syllable, in this case /m/, when there’s no vowel sound?

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    That's right. /m/ is often found closing syllables - think of ham, lamb, jam, clam. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 20 '13 at 1:52
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    /m/ is the coda of the syllable /kӕm/. Syllabic [m] rarely occurs outside of the suffix -ism or a few other words (such as chasm or blossom). The loss of the unstressed syllable in camera is called syncope. – snailplane Mar 20 '13 at 2:11
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    camera may sometimes be pronounced "cam-ruh" but that is not the only way it is pronounced. – Jim Mar 20 '13 at 2:31
  • @snailplane, Thank you very much. Your link gives me new lights. – Listenever Mar 20 '13 at 4:21
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    @WendiKidd Okay, I did my best to turn it into an answer! – snailplane Mar 23 '13 at 19:32
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In this example, /m/ is the coda of the syllable /kӕm/.

Syllabic [m̩] rarely occurs outside of the suffix -ism or a few other words (such as chasm or blossom). In this case, we can rule it out because /m/ does not follow a consonant made at the same point of articulation, or indeed a consonant at all; since it can't be syllabic [m̩], we're left with the options of onset or coda; since the vowel following /m/ is elided, it cannot be the onset of /mə/; therefore the only option left is the coda of /kӕm/.

The loss of the unstressed syllable in camera is called syncope.

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  • This answer contented my curiosity fully. Thank you. – Listenever Mar 23 '13 at 23:19

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