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 Stress in English Words

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تاريخ التسجيل : 17/06/2008

مُساهمةموضوع: Stress in English Words   الأربعاء أكتوبر 15, 2008 1:10 pm


Rules of Stress

I. Two-Syllable Words
A. Verbs:
• The second syllable of the verb is stressed if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong or if it ends with more than one consonant:
pursuit /pejsu:t/
• The first syllable is stressed if the final syllable contains a short vowel with or without a final consonant:
enter /jente/
• The first syllable is stressed if the final syllable contains /eq/:
follow /jfmleq/
B. Adjectives:
• Two-syllable adjectives are stressed according to the same rule of two-syllable verbs:
divine /dijvain/
C. Nouns:
• The first syllable of the noun is stressed if the second syllable contains a short vowel.
money /jmrni/
• The second syllable is stressed if it does not contain a short vowel.
estate /ijsteit/

II. Three-Syllable Words
A. Verbs:
• The middle syllable is stressed if the last syllable contains a short vowel and ends with only one consonant:
determine /dijto:min/
• The final syllable is stressed if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong, or if it ends with more than one consonants:
entertain /entejtein/
B. Nouns:
• The middle syllable is stressed if it contains a long vowl or a diphthong:
disaster /dijzg:ste/
• The first syllable is stressed if the final and the middle syllables contain a short vowel:
quantity /jkwmntiti/
C. Adjectives:
• The first syllable is always stressed in three-syllable adjectives:
opportune /jmpetju:n/

It is necessary to consider what factors make a syllable count as stressed. It seems likely that stressed syllables are produced with greater effort than unstressed, and that this effort is manifested in the air pressure generated in the lungs for producing the syllable and also in the articulatory movements in the vocal tract. These effects of stress produce in turn various audible results: one is pitch prominence, in which the stressed syllable stands out from its context (for example, being higher if its unstressed neighbours are low in pitch, or lower if those neighbours are high; often a pitch glide such as a fall or rise is used to give greater pitch prominence); another effect of stress is that stressed syllables tend to be longer - this is very noticeable in English, less so in some other languages; also, stressed syllables tend to be louder than unstressed, though experiments have shown that differences in loudness alone are not very noticeable to most listeners. It has been suggested by many writers that the term accent should be used to refer to some of the manifestations of stress (particularly pitch prominence), but the word, though widely used, never seems to have acquired a distinct meaning of its own.

One of the areas in which there is little agreement is that of levels of stress: some descriptions of languages manage with just two levels (stressed and unstressed), while others use more. In English, one can argue that if one takes the word 'indicator' as an example, the first syllable is the most strongly stressed, the third syllable is the next most strongly stressed and the second and fourth syllables are weakly stressed, or unstressed. This gives us three levels: it is possible to argue for more, though this rarely seems to give any practical benefit]
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Stress in English Words
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