Indentification of syllables is fairly simply in Khuzdul.  Syllables must all start with a consonant, followed by a vowel.  Syllables can optionally end (close) with a single consonant.  At the end of a word, the final syllable can close with two consonants.  Because of this, wherever there is a single consonant in the middle of a word, the consonant starts a new syllable.  In places where there are two consonants in the middle of a word, the second consonant starts a new syllable.  The only challenge comes in identifying unique consonants when at least one is is a digraph, which is a single sound represented by two letter.  In Khuzdul, this would be < ph th ch kh zh sh hy gh >.  As you can see, all of those have < h > in them, so the trick is to know when you are dealing with one of these versus a simple < h > or one of the sounds that doesn't have < h >, with those being
< p t c k z s y g >.  Generally, the only way to know is to have an idea of what the consonantal root of the word is.  A good way to see this is to look at the declension chart for the given word, which is usually necessary in order to use Quasi-Khuzdul.  However, the times where there may be some confusion should not be too often, so it's not a large concern.

The rules for syllabification in Khuzdul can be summed up as follows:
  • Every syllable must start with one and only one consonant.  Note that some Khuzdul consonants are represented by English digraphs, and so to some may look like two English consonants.
  • Every syllable must follow the initial consonant with a vowel or diphthong.
  • All syllables may end with any single consonant, although it's not required.  Syllables that end in a vowel are called "open", while those that end with a consonant are "closed"
  • The final syllable in a word may end with either one or two consonants, although it's not required.  There are only certain combinations of consonants that are allowed to end a syllable in pairs (a consonant "cluster").  See the chart below for details.

The valid syllable structures for Khuzdul may be defined in the following manner:


  • C = any consonant - required
  • V = any vowel - required
  • (C) = any consonant - optional and only in allowed code clusters at the end of a word

Allowable Coda Consonant Clusters
 Trill Approximant Nasal
  Stop/Affricate-bd, -pt, -pth
-bj, -pc, -pch
-bg, -pk, -pkh
-jd, -ct, -cth
-gd, -kt, -kth
-bz, -ps, -phs
-bzh, -psh, -phsh
-dv, -tf, -thf
-dz, -ts, -ths
-dzh, -tsh, -thsh
-gv, -kf, -khf
-gz, -ks, -khs
-gzh, -ksh, -khsh

 Fricative-vd, -ft, -fth
-vj, -fc, -fch
-vg, -fk, -fkh
-zb, -sp, -sph
-zd, -st, -sth
-zj, -sc, -sch
-zg, -sk, -skh
-zhb, -shp, -shph
-zhd, -sht, -shth
-zhg, -shk, -shkh
 -vz, -fs
-vzh, -fsh
-zv, -sf
-zhv, -shf
 Trill -rb, -rp, -rph
-rd, -rt, -rth
-rj, -rc, -rch
-rg, -rk, -rkh
 -rv, -rf
-rz, -rs
-rzh, -rsh
  -rm, -rn
 Approximant-l + all
-y + all*
-w + all*
-l + all
-y + all*
-w + all*

  -lm, -ln
 Nasal -mb, -nd, -nj, -ng
 -mv, -nz, -nzh

*  -  Clusters that include <y> or <w> end up forming a diphthong + the final consonant, rather than a "standard" consonant cluster.