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 last content word and most likely carries stress. I also put a smaller stress on the adjective, although I'm not sure if it's important.

What confuses me is I don't know what "Get off" is. Is it a phrasal verb? If yes, phrasal verbs usually gets the stress on the particle.

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    I think I usually hear off and high stressed. – Barmar Feb 26 '15 at 19:58
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    A one-word definition of "get off" (with respect to horses) would be dismount. You can look that up in a dictionary. – Robusto Feb 26 '15 at 20:03
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    It's pronounced like "get off your high horse". The specific words emphasized would depend on the emotional state of the speaker. I think you're obsessing (on a high horse?) about the stress and pronunciation. – Hot Licks Feb 26 '15 at 20:58
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    Yes, I am obsessing. So what? – Zoltan King Feb 26 '15 at 21:32
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    question is pretty pointless, based on (irrelevant anyway) assumption – Fattie Aug 10 '15 at 12:33

I stress that like this: [3gɛt̬ 2ɔf jər 1hɑɪ 3hoərs]. I've used "1" for primary stress, "2" for secondary, and so on. As you say, the "t" of "get" is flapped -- that is independent of the stresses of neighboring vowels, because the "t" is at the end of a syllable and is between vowels. (I don't understand the diacritic you've put on the [t].)

If by "linked" you mean the "t" becomes part of the first syllable in the next word, no, that does not happen here. That would prevent flapping the "t".

Perhaps "high horse" has more stress on "high" because in this idiom, it's a compound (that's what it feels like). Elsewhere, not in the idiom, I'd have "2high 1horse", which as you say would be the ordinary stress of an adjective modifying a noun.

I suppose "get off" should count as a phrasal verb, since it's a phrase and is a verb. It does have more stress on the "off" (which, however, doesn't seem to be a particle of the sort that goes with verb-particle constructions, because it doesn't move to the right of a following object -- *"Get your high-horse off").

  • Thank you. Your post is very useful. As far as I know linking doesn't prevent the flap T to happen, but I may be wrong. The two words linked together sounds like ged_ɔf. I found this on YouTube without stress markers: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1924024/getoffhighhorse.png I think you are referring to the Held T. That can be used as well. – Zoltan King Feb 26 '15 at 20:49
  • I'm saying there's no linking. Linking doesn't prevent the flap, because there is no linking. As I've seen the term used, linking moves a consonant from the end of a word into the first syllable of a following word. This changes a consonant from being in a weak position in the offset of a syllable, where it is subject to lenition processes, to being in a strong position in the onset of a syllable, where it is subject to fortition processes rather than lenitions. (cont. ...) – Greg Lee Feb 26 '15 at 20:53
  • ... (cont.) You can observe linking in some pronunciations of "this evening", which is pronounced as though it were "the s-evening", and the "s" becomes fortis. – Greg Lee Feb 26 '15 at 20:54

As a native speaker of American English, I would stress this as da-DA da-DA DA (pronounced with a western accent, of course!).

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