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2
votes
1answer
87 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
41 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
1answer
56 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
147 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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
169 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
425 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
194 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
498 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Why is there 'ss' in pessimistic? [closed]

In the word 'pessimistic',we use 'ss'. but my question is that, as I know, there are syllables as: 'pe',ssi','mis','tic'. Here stress falls in 'mis'syllable then it might be doubled 'mis',not 'pessi'. ...
2
votes
1answer
213 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
263 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
2k 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
642 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
227 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
345 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
711 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
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
356 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
397 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
777 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
841 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
951 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
252 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
490 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)?