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3
votes
0answers
39 views

Can penult stress for “stigmata” and similar words be explained or justified by any principle?

I enjoy studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There appear to be two possible pronunciation patterns for words ending in the plural suffix -ata ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

Can the stress pattern of “uroboros/ouroboros” be explained by any principle, or is it random?

The word "uroboros," coming ultimately from Greek, has a couple of spellings and also pronunciations (see How to do you pronounce Ouroboros?). As explained by Nohat in the linked page, the two ...
6
votes
2answers
71 views

In what mode does Tom Bombadil sing?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (book 1 of "The Fellowship of the Ring", chapter 7, "In the House of Tom Bombadil", specifically) the character Tom Bombadil sings many of his lines (much of ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

How to mark a stressed vowel in a text?

I write an article containing many Russian names and surnames, and sometimes it is important to specify which vowel is stressed (e.g. to distinguish Baskov from Baskov). In Russian we put an accent ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Why do American English speakers pronounce both syllables in “challah” equally?

I live in the US, and I've noticed that "challah" seems to be generally pronounced by Americans as something like /hala:/ (or possibly /ha:lə/), with either equal stress on both syllables or a slight ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Stress on “can” and “could”

I can go there. I could go there. In these sentences, when spoken, how is the meaning altered by putting stress/emphasis on the words can and could?
5
votes
4answers
245 views

Why is “omnipotent” stressed iambically?

"Omnipotent" is stressed like omˈnipotent, with a stress on second syllable. But both components are stressed on the first syllable ('omni and 'potent). And a comparable word, "omnipresent", has the ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

Relative stress principle and speech rhythms / free verse

What determines the rhythm of a line in English is stress. the degree of stress of a syllable is determined in relation to the stress of the syllables adjacent to it. This, the relative stress ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

Does the word “buttress,” which is both a noun & verb, follow the rules about where to put emphasis based on its part of speech? [closed]

buttress (n.) any prop or support buttress (v.) to support by a buttress; prop up Words like combat, abstract, project, and convict change the syllable that's stressed based on whether ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

TR sound and Word Stress

I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound. "To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the ...
0
votes
1answer
196 views

Word Stress in “I have a + noun”

I know that any word can be stressed in a sentence to give it emphasis, but in the following sentences I'm interested in a default unemphatic accent. When I pronounce these phrases: A: I have a ...
0
votes
2answers
232 views

Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Do words with primary and secondary stress lose the secondary stress in a sentence?

I read in a textbook that certain words in English lose the secondary stress when they appear in a sentence. For example, this female name has both primary and secondary stress according to the ...
4
votes
3answers
943 views

Word Stress in the sentence “I put it on the table”

the sentence: "I put it on the table" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'teɪ bəl ] and "I put it on the chair" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'tʃɛər ] I think the strongest ...
0
votes
1answer
636 views

Compounds and Phrases - differences

What are differences of compounds and phrases and what do they have in common? I know there is the "nuclear stress rule" (phrasal stress on the last word of phrase) and the "compound stress rule" ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Idiom: Get off your high horse (American English Stress) [closed]

Get off your high horse [gɛt̬ _ɔf jər ˌhɑɪ 'hoərs] We have a flap T linked with the word OFF. I'm not sure which words I should stress in the idiom above, apart from the noun "horse" which is the ...
1
vote
0answers
138 views

Sentence stress and word linking with the problematic Y?

the question: Can I use your bathroom? phonetically looks like: [kə_naɪ ˈyuz yər ˈbæθˌrum] I think the stress should be on the verb USE and the noun BATHROOM. Am I right? Some dictionaries show the ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

How to explain the use of stress to emphasize agreement

In a discussion with someone whose first language is not English, the phrase "that is fun" came up, with the stress applied to emphasize agreement. This was taken as an insult; he thought the stress ...
0
votes
0answers
235 views

Sentence stress: I'm sort of busy right now

I heard this phrase in a TV show: "I'm sort of busy right now". You can listen it here (I cut out the phrase): https://clyp.it/4khla44l Phonetically it looks like: [ɑɪm soərt əv bɪzi raɪt naʊ]. The ...
0
votes
2answers
287 views

Is the diphthong [ai] in a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? [closed]

Is the diphthong [ai] in a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? Some American people pronounce the prefix "anti" like an-tie. For example, here's a pronunciation of "anti-Christian" ...
-1
votes
1answer
382 views

Marking stress for a syllable

Word cartoon, sound is /kɑːtuːn/ word has two syllable, kɑː and tuːn and the syllable tuːn is stressed. But the online dictionaries doesnt show the dot (.) between these two syllables. but stress ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

pronunciation of PYRamid vs. pyRAMidal

This recently came up in my geometry class: why is pyramid pronounced PIR-uh-mid, while pyramidal is pronounced pi-RAM-idal? From what I can tell, they both have similar roots and etymologies, so ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

Where in the U.S. do people change the stress of umbrella, adult and TV to the first syllable?

Is it just a small percentage of the population in that region who stress the first syllable, or is it widespread? In other words, if I visit such region will I find almost everyone talking like that ...
0
votes
0answers
155 views

Stress on noun + noun phrases

When two nouns are combined, the stress is usually on the first noun, as in MILK bottle, DOG house, DOORknob, and POTATO salad. However, if the first noun denotes a place, the stress seems to be on ...
0
votes
2answers
280 views

Stress shift amongst speakers from India

I've noticed that speakers from India shift the stress in some words such as 'adjective', 'sentence' or 'tendency'. They normally stress the second syllable and not the first one as most people are ...
4
votes
2answers
652 views

Are there any three syllable words which exist as a noun and verb?

There are several word pairs consisting of a noun and a verb that are written and articulated the same; the noun generally has stress placed on the first syllable, and the verb on the second. For ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

What is the word that is emphasized more?

There is a sentence. He gave me an apple. I heard that more emphasis in on 'an apple' because of the end focus rule. Then, is the subject 'I' prior to ending 'an apple' in meaning? In ...
1
vote
2answers
311 views

Is “release stress” acceptable in English?

Would it be correct English to say "release stress", for example: "If you do not find a way to release stress, you will get tired, you may even fall ill." Is "release stress" an acceptable ...
5
votes
1answer
971 views

What syllable is stressed in “complex”?

I've read somewhere that if complex is an adjective, its second syllable is stressed (com-plex), while for noun, the first one (com-plex). But e.g. this link says that adjective can also sound as ...
0
votes
2answers
322 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car ...
8
votes
1answer
750 views

Why do English men's names almost always stress the first syllable?

While looking at names of American Presidents I noticed that English men’s names almost always stress the first syllable. Barack Obama is unusual in that he’s only the second President (after ...
2
votes
1answer
419 views

Telling the time “3:15” in American English

Which of the followings is the most common way to say 3:15 in American English? A quarter past three A quarter after three Three fifteen Also, in the last example "three fifteen", ...
1
vote
1answer
394 views

Stress in “control” word

I heard the "control" word (and other similar words) stress depends on whether it is a noun or a verb. But I can't find any proof to that. Is it really so?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't “-use” verb-noun pairs obey initial stress derivation?

It's well known (and several past questions on this SE have covered) that to convert a two-syllable Latin-derived English verb into a noun, you shift the stress to the first syllable. This is ...
2
votes
3answers
786 views

Four-word phrase stress

I'm interested to learn why the following four-word phrases have stress on different words. "Little Red Riding Hood" (stress is on little and riding) "Infamous National Rifle Association" ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to stress any word properly?

Personally I think stress is one of the hardest things. There are thousands of words around, so most likely I cannot remember all stress-marks of every word then pronounce them exactly. Is it so ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Pronunciations of 'retard' and 'retardation'

Why are the verb form (/rɪtɑːd/, ri-tard) and the offensive noun form (/ˈriːtɑːd/, ree-tard) of the word retard pronounced differently? While I have heard both variants in use as part of the ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
21
votes
4answers
775 views

Why do photons and protons exhibit such anomalous behavior?

I first noticed in this answer that there is something sneaky going on with the word photon: its ‹t› is the stressed allophone of /t/, a fully aspirated [tʰ]. It does not reduce to [t] or [ɾ] the way ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

Why don’t we write poetry like Beowulf any longer?

Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, uses a characteristically Germanic style of poetry in which the number of strong beats per line is what counts. Instead of counting syllables, strong beats alone ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What did we gain in return for the loss of phonemic vowel length from Old English?

In Old English, vowel length was phonemic, but stress and certain kinds of consonant voicing were not. In Modern English, that situation is reversed: vowel length is no longer phonemic, but stress ...
2
votes
1answer
478 views

Three-word phrase stress (“little straw house” vs. “small wooden house”)

I'm interested to learn why the following three-word phrases have stress on different words. "little straw house" (stress is on little and house) "small wooden house" (stress is on wooden) Here ...
2
votes
3answers
546 views

Why are all acronyms accented on the last syllable?

When saying acronyms out loud, almost always the last syllable is accented (no matter how long the acronym is): US*A*, U*N*, RSV*P*, etc. Accenting any syllable but the last makes you sound silly ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Prosodic stress

What difference do different stress positions make to the meaning of the following sentence: What would you like? What would you like? What would you like? What would you like?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What do we need for a stress in a word?

I am non-native in English, so this question may be a meaningless one or even a silly one. Why do we need a stress on one or more letters in a word? Indeed, a native person can read a word containing ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Which syllable is stressed in the word “nineteen”?

The dictionaries list both possibilities to stress nineteen (or any other -teen, for that matter): ,nine-teen and nine-'teen. Are the two pronunciations completely interchangeable, a matter of ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say "this record" and say "record this" — the text to speech system picks up the ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

What is the proper emphasis for the word “indent”?

Does indent carry an accent on the first or the second vowel? I've seen both in IPA. My non-native ear would tend to favor the first.
5
votes
1answer
538 views

How did “defect” and “defect” come to have different pronunciations?

There are many interesting events in the history of the English language. Which one of them gave us “defect” (noun, /diːˈfɛkt/, imperfection) and “defect” (verb, /dɪˈfɛkt/ , change allegiances)?