Chapter 9: THE SUPRASEGMENTAL PHONEMES

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WORD-STRESS

9.1. Levels of stress
9.2. Position of stress
9.2.1. Stress in simple words
9.2.2. Stress in complex words
9.3. Variable stress

Characteristics of stressed (accented) syllables
-

The syllable or syllables of a word which stand out from
the other syllables are said to be accented (stressed), or
to receive ACCENT (STRESS).
- we can study accent from the point of view of
PRODUCTION and PERCEPTION.
A) PRODUCTION of stress - depends on the
speaker, using more muscular energy than normally
used for unstressed syllables.
B) From the PERCEPTUAL point of view, all
stressed syllables have one characteristic in common,
and that is PROMINENCE

Loudness – voiced sounds 3. voiced consonants vs. Pitch change (pitch change and pitch height) 2. voiceless consonants) and quantity (number of sonorous sounds in the syllable) .4 factors that make a syllable prominent: 1.Quality (full vowels vs reduced vowels.

a type of stress that is weaker than the primary stress. LEVELS OF STRESS • primary stress .absence of any recognizable amount of prominence. but stronger than that of the first syllable of around. . apple [ӕpl] • secondary stress .rendered by the symbol (  ) placed at the top. flyswatter [flaiswɔtә]. represented in transcriptions with a low mark ( ). in front of the stressed syllable. e.1.9. • unstressed syllables .g. e.g. photographic [fut grfik]. around [ raund].

the main accent always falls on a particular syllable of any given word. but free -the main accent is not tied to any particular situation in the chain of the syllables constituting a word. THE POSITION OF STRESS The accentual pattern of English words is fixed .9.2. .

e. . verb. or whether it is complex as a result of either affixation (the attachment of prefixes and suffixes) or of compounding (the combination of two or more simple words). e. The English words of Latin origin tend to follow the Latin rules of stress.g.e. formula. whether it is of Greek or Latin origin). e) the phonological structure of the syllables (whether it contains certain kinds of vowel and consonant combinations).Factors that determine the position of stress a) the origin of the word (i. appendix. adjective). in’sult (vb) d) the number of syllables in the word.g. b) whether the word is morphologically simple. c) the grammatical category to which the word belongs (noun. insult (n) vs.

The basic rule is the following: if the second syllalbe of the word contains a long vowel or a diphthong. Stress in simple words B.) Verbs and adjectives.e.9. Two-syllable words. a. that second syllable is stressed: Verbs Adjectives apply [plai] collapse divine [divain] attract [trkt] imply correct [krekt] become [bikm] alive [laiv] If the final syllable does not meet the above-mentioned conditions. Verbs Adjectives enter [ent] exit lovely [lvli] open [upn] suffer even [i:vn] hover [hv] ‘sizzle happy ['hpi] . or if it ends in more than one consonant.1. i. Here the choice is still simple: either the first or the second syllable will be stressed. then the first syllable will be stressed.2. if it contains a short vowel and one (or no) final consonant.

below. idea [ai-di]. Otherwise. product [pr-dkt]. If the second syllable contains a short vowel.b) Adverbs and prepositions behave like verbs and adjectives: behind [bihaind]. . it will be on the second syllable: honey [h-ni]. the stress will usually come on the first syllable. about c) Nouns. upon [pn]. balloon [b-lu:n]. writer [rait] vs. estate [i-steit].

Verbs transfer permit accent progress Verb Adjective absent absent dilute dilute direct direct frequentfrequent Nouns  transfer permit  accent  progress Noun Adjective August august minute [minit] minute [mainju:t] .

resurrect [re . Three-syllable words.t. encounter [inkaun-t].rekt]. .g.bit].min].z . entertain [en . a) Verbs -(penultimate) syllable.g. e.the final syllable is stressed if it contains a long vowel or a diphthong. determine [di .C. inhabit [in .h . or ends with more than one consonant: e. .t .tein].

Penultimate syllable stressed: mimosa [mimu . soprano.tei .tu].p . anthropoid [n-r-poid].zә]. . -first syll.tju:n].m].n .b) Nouns. exercise c) Adjectives seem to need the same rules to produce stress patterns such as: opportune [ . stressed: quantity [kwn –ti – ti]. cinema [si . . insolent [in – slnt] . potatoe [p .

ice-cream.9.2.2. which are formed out of two or more independent English words.g.) (derived words) . armchair) (9.2.2. Stress in complex words Complex words are of two major types: .2.2) .compound words.1.2.words formed from a basic stem by adding affixes (9. e.

2.the affixed word is stressed as if the affix were not there: market .9.2.three possible effects on word stress: . Stress in affixed words Affixes .the affix itself receives primary stress: semi-+ vowel= semivowel [semi vaul] . . ¹edit .marketing.e¹di-tion . but is shifted to a different syllable: magnet magnetic.1.the stress remains on the stem.

be-. become. for(above. descend.A) PREFIXES (a) Prefixes which have lost their meaning and do not carry any accent: a-. and are still productive. believe. but whose fusion with the root to which they are attached is so indestructible. that the resulting word is no longer felt as a derivative. forget. (b) Prefixes which may have a meaning of their own. e. alive. depress. ajar. forbid).g. forgive. ashore. derail. .

non – attendance nonsense .non-conformist unaccented no’nentity .non.misbelieve miscarry= to deliver prematurely .(=’not’) accented accented (secondary stress) (primary stress) .misplace misconduct = adultery NON.misinform mischance = bad luck .non-stop .non-observance . MIS– (= ‘badly’) accented unaccented (in long words where quite often the meaning has been slightly altered) .(c) A third category contains prefixes that almost always have a distinct meaning of their own and are highly productive.misad'venture .essential  nonpareil .

volunteer -ese: Portuguese. employee. Chinese. accidental -esque: picturesque. referee -eer: mountaineer. arabesque. grotesque . engineer. usherette. Japanese -ette: cigarette. kitchenette -ental: oriental.B) SUFFIXES a) Suffixes carrying primary stress themselves -ee: refugee.

(b) Suffixes that do not affect stress placement -able: comfort => comfortable -less: power => powerless -age: anchor => anchorage -ly: hurried => hurriedly -al: refuse => refusal -ment: punish => punishment -en: wide => widen -ness: happy => happiness -ful:  wonder => wonderful -y: fun => funny -ing: amaze => amazing -fy: glory =>glorify -ish: devil => devilish -wise: other => otherwise -like: bird => birdlike .

Exceptions: pyramid => pyramidal. proverb => proverbial apply => applicable prefer => preferable compare => comparable admire => admirable .

injure => in jurious -graphy: photo =>. ‘dogma vs. ‘impuls vs im’pulsive .(c) Suffixes that influence stress in the stem  Primary stress on the last syllable of the stem: -ous: advantage => . photography -ic: climate => climatic. courageous.advantageous. dog’matic -ion: perfect => perfection -ive: reflex => reflexive.

honeymoon. . word-stress. and normally has the stress on the first element. toill-treat. headache.g. • Compounds in which the first element is a numeral: e.2. Stress on the first element. In this category there are a number of possible combinations: • Compounds with an adjectival first element and the –ed morpheme at the end e.9.g. three-wheeler. typewriter. BUT: .three-’legged (race) • Compounds that function as adverbs: e. North-West. newspaper. badtempered. second-hand.week-’end b. Stress in compound words a. e. sunrise.g. down-stream • Compounds that function as verbs and have an adverbial first element: e. The most familiar type of compound is the one which combines two nouns. left-handed.2.g. to upgrade. half-opened.g.2. . Primary stress on the final element.

• HOTBED ‘place that encourages rapid growth’ HOT BED ‘warm sleeping place’ • MAKEUP ‘cosmetics’ MAKE UP ‘reconcile’ • LOUDSPEAKER ‘sound amplifier’ LOUD SPEAKER ‘noisy talker’. .

compare [kmp]→comparable [kmrbl] instead of comparable [kmprbl]. integral *[intigrl] or [intgrl].g. Analogical changes refer to derived forms. Rhythmic changes. VARIABLE STRESS A. e. e. In some words containing more than two syllables there appears to be a tendency to avoid a succession of weak syllables. sonorous *[snrs] or [sn:rs].3. admire [dmai] → admirable [dmairbl] instead of admirable [dmirbl]. in words of three syllables there is variation between [_ _] and [_ _] patterns.9.g. Thus. B. especially if these have [] or [i]. exquisite [ekskwizit] or *[ikskwizit]. . which tend to preserve the accentual pattern of the stem.