A phonological principle proposed by some writers which determines the placement of syllable boundaries in cases of doubt. The principle states that, unless doing so would violate universal or language-specific constraints, consonants should be assigned to the syllable onset rather than the syllable coda. For example, the English word extra could be syllabified ek$strə or eks$trə or ekst$rə. All other syllable divisions would result in illegal consonant clusters in English. The principle favours the first of the versions shown.
See for example Selkirk, E.O. (1981) English Compounding and the Theory of Word-structure, in: M. Moortgat, H. Van der Hulst & T. Hoestra (eds.) The Scope of Lexical Rules, Foris, Dordrecht.