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ENGLISH PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY 3

ENGLISH SYLLABLES AND WORD STRESS

THE SYLLABLE

Roach(2000) defines the syllable as a basic unit of speech which consists of a peak which has little or no obstruction to airflow and which comparatively sounds loud. The peak or the centre of the syllable may have before and after it some form of obstruction to the airflow and/less loud sound. The word bat is a monosyllable word. The center/peak of the syllable is the vowel because it is the least/no obstruction and is the loudest segment in the syllable. The [b] and [t] are consonants which surrounds the peak and are both plosives/stop sounds which are formed by obstructing the airflow. The consonant [b] that comes before the peak is known as the onset and the consonant [t] that comes after the peak is known as the coda. Onset and coda may/maynot be present in a syllable-marginal elements. The peak must be present in all.

Syllable structures- Mono syllables

There are at least two ways of representing the syllable structures: tree diagram form of a table - The syllable marked as small Greek sigma has two immediate constituents; the onset (o), consonants that precedes the nuclear element (the vowel) the rhyme(r), subsumes the nuclear element as well as any marginal elements(consonants) that might follow it - The rhyme further branches into: peak(p) as known as the nucleus(n), which is nuclear or the most audible element in a syllable coda(c) which includes all consonants that follow the peak in a syllable.

Types of English Mono syllable words - Mono syllable with only the Peak Roach(2003) calls these minimal syllables are [:] , or [:] - Mono syllable with Onset and Peak sea [si:] , car [k:] - Mono syllable with Peak and Coda it [it] , in [in] - Mono syllable with Onset,Peak and Coda cat [kt], meet [mi:t]

Syllable structures- Complex Syllables and Multi syllables - The English syllable maybe quite complex as there may be a string of consonants in the onset and also in the coda as in the word straight [streit] - Some words also consists of diphthongs such as take [teik]. Are there 2 peaks or 1 peak in such words? In the case of the diphthong, there is still only one peak however it is said to be made by 2 vowels [e] and [i]. - English syllables can permit a cluster of up to 3 consonants in the onset and 4 consonants in the coda - Smell- [s] is the pre initial onset consonant and [m] is the initial onset consonant. SPORT, SCALE

Spray-[s] pre initial onset consonant, [p] initial onset consonant and [r] post initial consonant. Initial is used because the onset occupies the initial or the beginning of a syllable The coda too consists of consonant clusters Sprint- [n] pre final coda, [t] final coda Banks- [n] pre final coda, [k] final coda, [s] post final coda

WORD STRESS

It is associated with giving more prominence to a particular syllable in a word with more than one syllable. The stressed syllable is usually louder or longer than other syllables in the word. One can indicate word stress by capitalising the stressed syllable e.g. inforMAtion- indicating stress on the second syllable. Some dictionaries use a stress mark or a diacratic 2 before the syllable that is given the primary stress infor2mation. We can represent a secondary stress using a ( )- infor2 mation

STRESS RELATED TO WORD CLASS


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Generally the word stress in English words are predictable in the sense that there is a pattern to stress placement. The rules are related to parts of speech of the words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) However there are exceptions to the rules. Stress in Nouns Nouns of 2 syllables are stressed on the 1st- mother, booklet, tower In words with more than 2 syllables, the nature of the vowel of the peak of the various syllables must be considered. The vowel that occupies the penultimate position (next to last) is strong, thus stressed is placed on that syllable potato, relation, horizon, camera, emperor, compliment, apartment, disaster, appendix, custody, reincarnation

Stress in Verbs Verbs of two syllables are stressed on the stronger vowel. Open and enter the final syllable contains a [] which is a weak syllable, thus the stress is on the first syllable e.g. enter, open. In words like apply, arrive and pronounce, the stress falls on the final strong syllable apply, arrive, pronounce In verbs with more that 2 syllables, in general the strong initial syllable may receive the primary stress e.g. exercise, exacerbate However, if the final syllable is weak, the stress may be placed on the penultimate (before the final) or the antepenultimate (2 syllables before the final syllable) interrogate, interpret, calibrate, compliment

Stress in Adjectives In case of adjectives, the suffixes must be considered. If there is a suffix, -al, -ar, -ant/ent, -ous, -ine, the noun rule applies. This means that the stress falls on the first syllable of the 2 syllable adjectives e.g. fatal, stellar, cogent, dormant, nervous In adjectives with more than 2 syllables, the stress is placed on the stronger penultimate syllable; accidental, peripheral, suicidal However some adjectives are stressed like verbs in which the stress falls on the final syllable especially when the final syllable contains a strong vowel: obscene, profound, correct.

Stress in English Compound Nouns - In English compound nouns the primary stress is given to the first part of the compound noun. - blackboard, toothbrush, notebook, keyboard - In more complex noun + noun compound such as computer analyst, teachers union, history professor, the same stress rule applies. The first syllable is normally given the primary stress.

Stress to Contrast English Nouns-Verbs Some verbs in English are both nouns and verbs such as research ( a systematic study or investigation) and to research (to conduct such a study)-homographs. The only difference is the word stress. For the nouns the primary stress falls on the 1st syllable and for the verbs it falls on the 2nd syllable In some cases, the vowel quality between the noun and verb changes.

promise permit present record refuse

Noun [prmis] [p:mit] [preznt] [rek:d] [refju:s]

Verb To promise [pr:mis] To permit [pmit] To present To record To refuse [prizent] [rik:d] [rifju:s]

Stress in English Phrasal Verbs -The stress of ten falls on the 1st syllable for the noun and on the 2nd syllable for the phrasal verb.
Nouns
A sellout A printout A takeover

Phrasal Verb
To sell out To printout To takeover

A letdown

To letdown