Sentence and phrase stress

Syllable stress in american english. Pairs of semantically related words whose grammatical category is reflected in their stress pattern. Stress is very important and inalienable part of human’s speech. The value of the logical stress in the word.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 07.01.2015
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In any language you listen to, you will notice that some syllables sound stronger and more noticeable than others. In English, for example, the middle syllable of the word 'tomato' is clearly stronger than the first and last syllables. We say that the middle syllable is stressed.

In some languages the position of the strongest stress may affect the meaning of a word. The following Spanish words are shown with the stressed syllables underlined, and their meanings are given:

termino 'terminus'

termino 'I terminate'

termino 'I terminated' [1,p.31-32]

English has some pairs of semantically related words whose grammatical category is reflected in their stress pattern, such as:

`accent ( noun)

ac`cent (verb)

`compact (noun)

com`pact (verb)

Some words may contain more than one stressed vowel, but exactly one of the stressed vowels is more prominent than the others. The vowel that receives primary stress is marked by an acute / accent. The other stressed vowels are indicated by a grave accent ( `) over the vowels (these vowels receive secondary stress).

`resigna/tion `lingui/stics `systema/tic

`fundamen/tal `introduc/tory `revolu/tion

In some other languages, it is possible to hear the difference between stressed and unstressed syllables. In French, it is usual for stress to fall on the final syllable of the word, while in Polish it is usually on the penultimate syllable (the syllable before last), with a few exceptions such as 'uniwersytet' ('university'). In languages such as these, we cannot say that stress is able to determine the meaning of a word. We may guess that stress performs a different function: it helps us to divide the continuous flow of speech into separate words. For example, if I am listening to someone speaking French, I know that when I hear a stressed syllable, that is the last syllable of a word.[1,p.31-32] It's usually easy to distinguish between stressed and reduced syllables, because the vowel in reduced syllables is pronounced as a schwa [?], English vowels generally reduce to schwa or delete when they are not stressed, except at the ends of certain words such as confetti or laboratory. It may be harder to distinguish between primary and secondary stress. If you are unsure of where the primary stress is in a word (and you are a native or near-native speaker of English), try shouting the word as if talking to a person across a busy street. Often, the difference in stress becomes more apparent.

Stress is a property of the syllable rather than a segment; it is a prosodic or suprasegmental feature. To produce a stressed syllable, one may change the pitch (usually by raising it), make the syllable louder, or make it longer. We often use all three of these phonetic means to stress a syllable.

“When words are combined into phrases and sentences, one syllable receives greater stress than all others. That is, just as there is only one primary stress in a word spoken in isolation, only one of the vowels in a phrase (or sentence) receives primary stress or accent. All of the other stressed vowels are reduced to secondary stress. In English we place primary stress on the adjectival part of a compound noun (which may be written as one word, two words separated by a hyphen, or two separate words), but we place the stress on the noun when the words are a noun phrase consisting of an adjective followed by a noun. The differences between the following pairs are therefore predictable:

Compound Noun Adjective + Noun

`Tightrope (“a rope for acrobatics”) tight `rope (“a rope drawn taut”)

`Redcoat (“a British soldier”) red `coat (“a coat that is red”)

`Hotdog (“a frankfurter”) hot `dog (“an overheated dog”)

`White House (“the President's house”) white `house (“a house painted white”)

Say these examples out loud, speaking naturally, and at the same time listen or feel the stress pattern. If English is not your native language, listen to a native speaker say them. These pairs show that stress may be predictable from the morphology and syntax. The phonology interacts with the other components of the grammar. The stress differences between the noun and verb pairs discussed in the previous section (subject as noun or verb) are also predictable from the syntactic word category.[2,p.299]

We can conclude that stress is very important and inalienable part of human's speech. Stress helps to understand foreign languages more clearly.

grammatical category stress logical


1. Roach P. Phonetics- Oxford; 2002; - 31-33 p.

2. Fromkin V. Rodman R. Hyams N. An Introduction to Language; 2009; - 299-300 p.

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