Questions tagged [stress]

Stress refers to which syllable or syllables in a word or phrase are "accented" or receive the most emphasis in their pronunciation.

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What could possibly cause the stress shift in adverbs ending in -arily compared to adjectives ending in -ary?

While adjectives ending in -ary (British English /əri/, American English /eri/) never have stress on the second last syllable (the /e/ in AmE, and obviously the /ə/ in BrE), their derivative adverbs ...
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Pronunciation of 'Taxman'

Like Postman /ˈpəʊstmən/, Policeman /pəˈliːsmən/ and Fireman /faɪəmən/, one would assume that Taxman would also be pronounced with a schwa in the man. But this is not the case and it is pronounced /...
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The stress of the prefix 'inter-'

In some words, the stress is on the first syllable of inter, for stance, intercourse, interview, internet, interval. However, there are also some words, in which the stress is on the second syllable ...
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How is "composite" as a verb pronounced in British English?

I always pronounce "composite" as COM-posite when it is used as an adjective or a noun. But in some technical contexts as "alpha compositing" it is also used as a verb, and in this ...
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Why is emphatic "Yes, I know THAT" okay, but not "Yes, I know IT"?

In the context of this ELL question asking about using pronoun "it" as an object, it struck me that whereas it's perfectly natural to place heavy stress for emphasis on the "...
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How to recognize stressed and unstressed syllables? (E.g. admit vs limit) [duplicate]

I wonder is there any simple rules to recognize is a syllable stressed or unstressed. When I try to pronounce any word, I don't recognize any of the following features of a stressed syllable: 1) ...
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How many allophones possible of phoneme /ə/ are there in American English?

I am an ESL student. I want to speak American English fluently. Due to influence of my local dialect in my country, I only discover that there is [ə ɐ ɪə ɑ] doubtably according to my ear, and native ...
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"Fairly/Quite": stresses for "not exactly small" and "almost huge."

When spoken, the meaning can vary with the tone of voice and stress: He was fairly/quite big can mean anything from "not exactly small" to "almost huge". https://en.wiktionary.org/...
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Syllable stress of the word begonias

I am currently studying syllable stress. When I look at the word begonia we can split it into 3 syllables with the stress on 'go'. E.g bih-gohn-yuh. However, the plural form of the word gives me 4 ...
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iambic pentameter, stress, and monosyllables

I am studying poetry structure and I am focusing on iambic pentameter at the moment. From what I have read, there are 10 syllables per line and 5 stressed and 5 unstressed syllables. It goes ...
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Is modern 'five countries' English the only type of English with stress patterns that change across the entire word depending on the suffix?

The capital letters represent where the main stress in each word lies TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic, photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. What about in the past, including ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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syllable stress in pronunciation of frequently used expressions [closed]

I think that the first case in which stress in a frequently used expression starting to gnaw at my mind occurred after hearing someone pronouncing a noun adjunct in a way deviating from the way I was ...
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In the example, who do the pronouns she and her refer to?

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 ...
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Why are the vowels in "harmony", "harmonic" and "harmonious" pronounced differently?

The "O" in all these words represents a different vowel: Harmony → /ˈhɑː.mə.ni/ Harmonic → /hɑːˈmɒn.ɪk/ Harmonious → /hɑːˈməʊ.ni.əs/ (UK pronunciations from Cambridge Dictionary) I know ...
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1 answer
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Comment on the accentual structure of the following word: overvalue

I tried to describe the stress pattern of the word overvalue, but the only thing that I found is that it has the secondary stress. How to describe it fully? Thanks in advance!
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1 answer
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Stress in the -ing form of verbs with initial-stress-derived nouns

It seems some verbs change the stressed syllable in the -ing form: proCESS -- PROcessing transPORT -- TRANsporting and some do not: diRECT -- diRECTing proVIDE -- proVIDing Is this related with ...
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Is “an historical” correct? [duplicate]

Why do some people say or write an historical but not an ham sandwich or an hint?
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Why can't we say "... of its"?

In a comment on the question Is there any rule regarding when not to use the pattern "noun phrase + of + possessive pronoun"?, such as "a friend of his", John Lawler writes First ...
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-IZE: unstressed (though strong)

According to the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary -IZE /aɪz/: This suffix is unstressed (though strong) in Received Pronunciation and General American, but sometimes stressed in other varieties"....
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Each sentence is emphasising a different message depending on the word stress?

I need to talk to our lecturer tomorrow. I need to talk to our lecturer tomorrow. I need to talk to our lecturer tomorrow. I need to talk to our lecturer tomorrow. I need to talk to our lecturer ...
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Why is chocolate pronounced as CHOK-LATE and not CHO-KO-LATE? [closed]

So there are many words in which one syllable gets reduced. For example, chocolate could be pronounced as CHO-KO-LATE but instead it's pronounced as CHOK-LATE, it's now 2 syllable word. Another ...
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1 answer
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Reason for pronunciation differences between different meanings of offense

At least in American English, the word offense has two different pronunciations used for two different meanings: I took offense at his joke The team's offense is quite good How did this ...
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1 answer
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What is the correct pronunciation of "elytra"?

The word elytra refers to one of the anterior wings in beetles and some other insects that serve to protect the posterior pair of functional wings according to Merriam-Webster. The word is also ...
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Syllables and word stressing [closed]

I am an english learner but when it comes to syllables and streesing, a lot of words give me problems in pronoucing them. When I was taught syllables and streesing they told me that every word has ...
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Is the repetition of a pronoun instead of stressing it possible?

In English it is usual to stress a personal pronoun or a noun so as to introduce a departure from the preceding spell of conversation in which is mentioned another agent in relation to the same ...
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1 answer
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Should the first instance of an author-made word in a work use an accent mark? [closed]

If an author makes up proper nouns for their text, for example, Bilgebauth, should the very first instance in the text be typeset with an accent: Bilgebáuth to inform the reader of the proper stress ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How do different stresses change the meaning of the sentence "I don't know"

If one says "I don't know" in 3 different ways, like, when they stress "I", "don't" and "know" respectively. How does the meaning of this sentence change?
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2 votes
1 answer
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How does the pitch change through the phrase "a gorgeous young model"?

When one pronounces the phrase a gorgeous young model in a very normal way (without any special stress to emphasize a specific meaning), which word will be said in the highest pitch, which word ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to stress Phrasal verb?

Many people told me that the particle is stressed when it comes to Intransitive Phrasal Verb. (like "warm up" in this video https://youtu.be/9I1DBOJERns?t=3) (Text: Winter's over, the weather's ...
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Why is pianist usually stressed on the /pi/?

"Pianist" is usually pronounced /ˈpiənɪst/, with /piˈænɪst/ as an acceptable variant only in the US and Canada, according to Wiktionary. I'm not sure why the pronunciation /ˈpiənɪst/ would be more ...
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Which syllable is primarily stressed in the word "television"?

I was taught to stress the first syllable of "television", but some dictionaries stress the syllable before -sion. My other question is "Does stressing VI before -sion exist in AmE?
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1 vote
2 answers
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for words ending in "ing", what parts are stressed?

For words ending in the -ing suffix, is the suffix stressed? Unstressed? Does adding the -ing suffix affect the stress of the other syllables? Example: (u is untressed, ' is stressed) Deteriorate is (...
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there any case when it's correct to pronounce the word "police" with the stress on the first syllable?

Is there any case when it's correct to pronounce the word police with the stress on the first syllable: /ˈpəlis/?
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1 answer
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Sentence stress

I'm struggling to understand the sentence stress in the following sentences: Why don’t we watch a comedy film? I'm pretty sure that 'don't', 'watch', 'comedy', and 'film' are stressed; why is a wh-...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Should "ohmmeter" be stressed on the first or second syllables, or both?

Question: Which syllable or syllables are stressed in the word ohmmeter? Context: I tried to say the word ohmmeter out loud today and realized I am unsure of the correct pronunciation. The double m ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where is the stress of the noun "Portuguese"?

Studying suffixes I've learned that "-ESE" is a strong suffix, therefore it holds the main stress when it's added to a word (e.g. China -> Chinese; Japan -> Japanese; journal -> journalese; etc.). ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks?

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks? e.g. Everyone's so intimidated by "big data."
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1 vote
1 answer
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Correct stress when pronouncing "covet"

When pronounce word "covet" should I give stress to "o" or to "e"? I searched Emma Saying channel for this word and there are two videos with different pronunciation so I'm not sure if this source is ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Why is the accent on "petrol" and "patrol" different?

Petrol and patrol are written very similarly, though completely and obviously different in meaning. My question here is actually about the accent on these words. Why is petrol stressed on PE, and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How would changing the stress position in descriptive phrases change the meaning?

Usually in a phrase composed of an adjective followed by a noun, the noun gets the most stress, and in a phrasal verb like (go on, sit down, stand up) the preposition gets the most stress. However ...
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2 votes
1 answer
448 views

How can I predict the stressed syllable in proper/brand/trademark/foreign nouns?

I often encounter nouns that I hear of for the first time, and I can not determine which syllable to stress. Unfortunately, I can not find most of these nouns in dictionaries to check the stressed ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to stress the subject in a question beginning with "why"?

English isn't my native language, so my question might seem dumb to you, but I wanna be sure. I'm writing some fiction, but I have some problems with syntax... Here's the question at issue : "why is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the real pronunciation of “postman”? [duplicate]

I can see that the word postman is pronounced as /pəʊs(t)mən/ commonly, where you can’t hear the vowel in the ‑man syllable. But sometimes it is pronounced /pəʊs(t)mæn/ — with a noticeable /æ/ vowel ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Syllable stress in "yogurt"

It is believed that word yougurt has Turkish etymology, and in Turkish phonology stess "is complicated" (you can listen different Turkish native speakers at forvo.com). Why in English yougurt has ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Determining the stressed word in a sentence when using possessive

In the following sentence, which word should receive the stress: This is the dog’s collar. I fully understand that in different contexts, different words will be stressed. But I’m asking about the ...
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Is there any evidence for "altercate" ever having been pronounced with stress on the second syllable?

In modern English, polysyllabic verbs ending in -ate are regularly stressed on the third-to-last syllable. (There are some (possible) exceptions, such as incarnate, impregnate, and elongate.) But it ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Progress: verbs pronounced differently in transitive and intransitive forms - pro'gress vs progre'ss

uncovered during an informal English conversational lesson today, according to my (1970s) Concise Oxford Dictionary, the vi and vt forms of 'progress' do have separate entries, different pronunciation,...
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Do syllables only contain one vowel? Also Some questions on word stress

For this word: ○ recommend ○/ˌrekəˈmend/ 1) /rekə/ is the first syllable. Does it contain two vowels? ■ e is a vowel ■ ə is a vowel I thought syllables can only contain one vowel? 2) the [ ']...
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Word Formation: Noun Suffixes and their Spelling and Stress Shift Rules

I've been having a real hard time trying to gather information about word formation in English, more specifically about the rules involving suffixes that turn verbs and adjectives into nouns. But not ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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How has "Boadicea" been pronounced at different points in history?

In English, the name of the famous Queen of the Iceni has been written many ways (there is some discussion in Boudica and Her Stories: Narrative Transformations of a Warrior Queen, by Carolyn D. ...
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