Mora (plural: moras or morae) is a unit of sound used in phonology that determines syllable weight (which in turn determines stress or timing) in some languages. Like many technical linguistics terms, the exact definition of mora is debated. A syllable containing one mora is said to be monomoraic; one with two moras is called bimoraic. Japanese is a language famous for its moraic qualities. Most dialects including the standard use moras as the basis of the sound system rather than syllables. For example, haiku in modern Japanese do not follow the pattern 5 syllables / 7 syllables / 5 syllables, as commonly believed, but rather the pattern 5 moras / 7 moras / 5 moras. (from Wikipedia)
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