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Page 277 of Beyond the Segment: Stress, Rhythm and Intonation reads

  • Jane said she’d been delighted long enough and Margaret offended her.

The nuclear stress rule tells us that nuclear stress falls on the last stressed syllable, which seems to be offended. However, anaphoric references tend not to be stressed; so, if Jane’s comment that she’s d been delighted long enough is considered to be offensive in the context, then the word offended is an anaphoric reference, in which case it would not be stressed, which means it obviously does not carry the nuclear stress of the utterance, but this is displaced to an earlier position, namely, to the stressed syllable of the word Margaret.

Could somebody elaborate on what anaphoric relation is going on here?

In the example, who do the pronouns she and her refer to? I still cannot come up with a context for such a sentence.

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  • You seem to be confused about how a word is stressed, and stress as in intonation pattern. In intonation, you can basically stress what you like in speech (all things being equal).
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 19:47
  • 1
    To be clear, does your question have anything to do with stress? If you're only interested in "Jane said she’d been delighted long enough and Margaret offended her." that seems ambiguous, depending on whether another woman has already been mentioned, or if "she" and "her" refer to Jane.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 21:57
  • @StuartF I still cannot come up with a context for such a sentence, any help?
    – GJC
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 22:26
  • 1
    Unless there is preceding context negating this, Gricean considerations mean that those reading your question must take the antecedent of 'she' as 'Jane'. Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 17:22
  • @EdwinAshworth 1) why a past perfect in the first but a simple past in the second? 2) why coordination by and? 3 what would the context be if it were not offensive?
    – GJC
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 14:01

1 Answer 1

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For me the problem is "anaphoric" - delighted is not anaphoric - it is an adjective - and it is simply confusing to refer to it as an anaphoric reference.

She and her are anaphoric.

OED

Of, pertaining to, or constituting anaphora (sense 1b - see below); referring to or standing for a preceding word or group of words. Hence as n., an anaphoric word.

1914 O. Jespersen Mod. Eng. Gram. II. i. x. 247, I propose to apply the word anaphoric to one (or any other word) if it refers to some word already mentioned, while I say

1960 S. Stubelius Balloon 28 While machine was from the outset the standard anaphoric for the aeroplane in the press, apparatus was only occasionally used.

1b. Grammar. The use of a word which refers to, or is a substitute for, a preceding word or group of words.

1964 M. A. K. Halliday et al. Linguistic Sci. viii. 248 In English these [sc. non-structural features] include grammatical anaphora, grammatical substitution and lexical anaphora; the first is reference back by personal pronouns and by deictics such as ‘the’, ‘this’ and ‘his’; the second is the use of ‘do’ and ‘one’ in the verbal and nominal groups, as in ‘I might do’ and ‘a big one’; the third is the repetition of a lexical item, or occurrence of a second item from one lexical set.

The example is not particularly good either: Bold = emphasis; italic = de-emphasised.

  1. Jane said she (i.e. emphasised = Margaret)’d been delighted long enough and Margaret offended her. her = Jane.

  2. Jane said she (i.e. unemphasised = Jane)’d been delighted long enough and Margaret offended her (i.e. Jane).

In 1. the emphasis is on she, and the "offended" thus looses emphasis.

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  • The emphasis can be anywhere in that phrase. There is no rule about that.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 19:48
  • I still cannot come up with a context for such a sentence, any help?
    – GJC
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 21:46
  • 1
    Jane: “That child, Margaret, has been screaming and shouting for an hour now and a lot of what she is shouting is obscene! I’ve had enough of her! David: “But she has been given a horse for her birthday… wouldn’t you be delighted? Jane: “Margaret has been delighted long enough and she is offensive!” Two hours later… David: “Jane is not happy with Margaret.” Eric: “Why?” David: Jane said she (i.e. emphasised = Margaret)’d been delighted long enough and Margaret offended her.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 22:44
  • Thanks for the context. Yet, I cannot see it as a felicitous sentence: 1) why past perfect in the first but simple past in the second? 2) why coordination by and? 3 what would the context be if it were not offensive?
    – GJC
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 9:14
  • I don't think I can be of further help - the topic seems to have drifted away from your original question. It is worthwhile mentioning that the original example is very poor.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 10:30

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