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[soo-pruh-seg-men-tl] /ˌsu prə sɛgˈmɛn tl/
above, beyond, or in addition to a segment.
Linguistics. pertaining to or noting features of speech, as stress, pitch, and length, that accompany individual consonants and vowels and may extend over more than one such segmental element; pertaining to junctural and prosodic features.
a suprasegmental feature.
1940-45; supra- + segmental Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for suprasegmental
  • Part one deals with phonology, including segmental and suprasegmental features.
British Dictionary definitions for suprasegmental


/ˌsuːprəsɛɡˈmɛntəl; ˌsjuː-/
(linguistics) denoting those features of a sound or sequence of sounds that accompany rather than form part of the consecutive segments of a word or sentence, as for example stress and pitch in English
Derived Forms
suprasegmentally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for suprasegmental

in phonetics, a speech feature such as stress, tone, or word juncture that accompanies or is added over consonants and vowels; these features are not limited to single sounds but often extend over syllables, words, or phrases. In Spanish the stress accent is often used to distinguish between otherwise identical words: termino means "term," termino means "I terminate," and termino means "he terminated." In Mandarin Chinese, tone is a distinctive suprasegmental: shih pronounced on a high, level note means "to lose"; on a slight rising note means "ten"; on a falling note means "city, market"; and on a falling-rising note means "history." English "beer dripped" and "beard ripped" are distinguished by word juncture.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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