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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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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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37 views

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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1answer
40 views

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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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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1answer
50 views

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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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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1answer
39 views

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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1answer
302 views

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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1answer
106 views

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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2answers
70 views

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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
376 views

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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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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What's up with the pronunciation of “awry”?

I was just watching a show where someone said "awry". I have noted this numerous times before and wondered, but now I just have to understand: Why is it pronounced as "aww-rye" [low tone on the aww] ...
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3answers
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What sort of stress is isochronous in English?

English is oft said to be stress timed, so that strongly stressed syllables should occur at (roughly) the same intervals. For the purposes of this question, please assume that. Is a syllable ...
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0answers
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Distinguishing words by syllabic stress (e.g. “August” and “Adult”)

I am quite sure that I was taught as a child that the noun "adult" is pronounced "A-dult," and the adjective "adult" is pronounced "a-DULT." Another example of the same rule is the word "august"; I ...
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Which side of “as well as” is emphasised?

I am curious about which side of the expression is stressed when "as well as" is used as a conjunction. For example: brave as well as loyal In this case, which adjective sounds highlighted more? ...
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2answers
236 views

Why does the stress fall on the antepenult of “carCInogen” but on the preantepenult of “halLUcinogen”?

I note that "carcinogen" might also be stressed on its preantepenult, in which case the question would become why the two words should have their stress so far away from the end when a stress nearer ...
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1answer
501 views

Which syllable is stressed in the English word 'romance'?

Whenever I google it the results are mostly about Romance languages. Google itself gives two versions r'omance and rom'ance. Are they used interchangeably for both the noun and the verb or r'omance ...
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1answer
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A puzzling example of sentence stress on the preposition “to”

This is a question about sentence stress. The example is taken from a unit of Michael Vaughan's "Test your Pronunciation". The Unit is entitled "Predicting highlighting shift in dialogue". Here is ...
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Is English an isochronous language, or not?

This is a question of isochrony of English. I heard that English is generally analyzed as an isochronous language as it's said that each stressed syllable appears at similar intervals. But I feel that ...
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1answer
218 views

Is stress-timed rhythm true?

It is said that English has stress-timed rhythm. Is it true? because it sounds that syllables with stress doesn't necessarily get a beat and make isochrony. If it is true, I would like to hear how you ...
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1answer
191 views

Are the mid-stressed English words always pronounced the same?

This has been a question in my mind for quite a long time, and I can't help but wonder are all words with stress in their second part pronounced the same all the time? For example, OK, because, etc. I ...
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1answer
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“What IS it?” versus “What is IT?” [closed]

I would like to know which word in the questions below is stressed in normal converstion. What is it? What is that? What do you do? Where do you live? How about in other ...
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3answers
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How to stress the difference between 13 and 30; 14 and 40; etc.?

I've searched this site for questions containing both thirteen and thirty, fourteen and forty, etc. up until I found this question about seventy. Most of the comments seem to be about using "sevenee" ...
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0answers
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Is it possible to use 'me' as a possessive in English sentences? [duplicate]

I just found that the word 'me' was used as a possessive in sentences of spoken English, in the movie "Harry Potter": "I'm half and half. Me dads a muggle, mum's a witch." Generally, isn't it ...
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1answer
515 views

/ɪ/ sound when not stressed

I've seen that some words in English are pronounced with the /ɪ/ sound when the vowel is not stressed. Some examples include: pocket /ˈpɒkɪt/, comet /ˈkɒmɪt/. But hundred /ˈhʌndrəd/. Is there any ...
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4answers
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What are the historical justifications for first-syllable stress in the word “orthoepy”?

Funnily enough, the word orthoepy (or orthoëpy) meaning “(the study of) correct (or standard) pronunciation” has no single established correct pronunciation: it may be stressed on either the first or ...
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1answer
255 views

British English word stress in sentence

Where should I put stress in the sentence below? If only I knew who it was from
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1answer
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Since English is a stress-timed language, why have poets chosen to write in iambic pentameter?

Since English is a stress-timed language, why have poets chosen to write in iambic pentameter? Doesn't the language already have a natural rhythm without resorting to meter? And isn't that natural ...
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0answers
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Stress position for two-letter abbreviations (or words assimilated from two-letter abbreviations) in English

This question asked about the poetic meter of "OK", and the only answer claimed that second letter is always emphasized except in the case of abbreviations that have been assimilated as words. However,...
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1answer
996 views

What is the poetic meter of 'O.K.'? [closed]

Is the acronym "O.K." generally pronounced as an iamb or a trochee? Or is it context-dependent?
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1answer
202 views

Why are diacritics used in words that apparently don't need them? Is it some sort of poetic license? [duplicate]

In his poem Spring and Fall, Gerard Manley Hopkins uses diacritics where one would normally not see them. Does anyone know why? Here is the poem: Márgarét, áre you gríeving Over Goldengrove ...
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3answers
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Why is English foot generally regarded as left-dominant foot? [closed]

I'm now thinking about the foot in English. This is an unit of rhythm. And I think that the English foot is seen as left-dominant, which is always started with a strong syllable. But I don't know the ...
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Is it more common for the noun “research” to be stressed on the first or second syllable among educated native speakers of American English?

Which of the two common pronunciations of the noun research is more common among educated native American English speakers? /rɪ ˈsɝt͡ʃ/ with the stress on the second syllable /ˈriː sɚt͡ʃ/ with the ...
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284 views

Vowel in stressed/unstressed syllable - curves up/down, flatter in pitch

From video lesson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_63fTgbG-yQ&list=PLB043E64B8BE05FB7&index=1 on 1:10) In a stressed syllable, the vowel curves up and down. In an unstressed syllable, ...
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2answers
187 views

Does “epenthesis” include placing the accent on the wrong syllable?

I read the definition for epenthesis as the insertion or development of a sound or letter in the body of a word. I am hearing media pronounce the word 'student' with an accent on the second syllable. ...
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1answer
229 views

“You're as [ADJECTIVE] as you are [ADJECTIVE]” construction: why does it sound awkward when you replace “you are” with “you're”?

I'm just wondering what it is about this construction that makes it sound "incorrect" even though technically it is grammatically correct. Is it an awkwardness arising from a lack of cadence, or ...
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0answers
151 views

Do native English speakers always stress content words rather than the final important word of a sentence?

I’ve watched lots of videos and read lots of articles that talk about this subject. However, I couldn’t understand because almost every article says something either new or different. So, I’d love to ...
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1answer
373 views

Does any dialect of English pronounce “sojourn” with emphasis on the second syllable?

I used to think that sojourn was pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable (So-Journ'), and until now that's how I'd heard it, then I heard from some learned people that it's on the first ...
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3answers
420 views

Can sentence vary non-primary stress?

Can the number and position of non-primary stresses vary depending on the sentence it appears in? E.g. assuming the word catastrophe, in RP, has a stress on the second syllable /kəˈtastrəfi/ Can we ...
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431 views

How to decide if the syllable of a word can never be stressed in any sentence

Is there a way of deciding whether the syllable of a word, in RP, can never be stressed in any sentence? E.g. congenital /kənˈdʒɛnɪt(ə)l/ I would assume that '(ə)l' can never be stressed, whatever ...
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2answers
533 views

Why do nouns and verbs which are stressed differently all exhibit the same variation?

I recently stumbled upon an interesting quirk regarding words that are both nouns and verbs. They seem to all follow the same stress pattern. Here are a few examples: NOUNS I have a really long ...
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1answer
278 views

Is lexical stress mostly consistent across accents of Standard English?

According to Wikipedia, lexical stress in Standard English* is "phonemic" (whatever they think they mean by that), using the minimal pair insight/incite as an example. My hypothesis is that, across ...
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1answer
194 views

Stress placement in compounds such as “elsewhere” and “inland”

In watching nature documentaries narrated by David Attenborough, I've noticed that in various compounds where Americans use first-syllable stress (elsewhere, inland, life-forms), he uses second-...
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1answer
2k views

Words pronounced with stress patterns like in “politics”, “lunatics”, etc.?

Could anyone please give a list of words pronounced with no primary stress immediately preceding the suffix -ic, such as in "politics", "lunatic", "arithmetic"? Also, is there an absolute stress ...
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1answer
450 views

How do I know where to place the stress?

In questions that start with interrogative pronouns such as: what, when, and why, should they be stressed? For example, is the word "time" stressed in the sentence? Is "What" stressed, too? What ...
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1answer
631 views

Why do some words change inflection when used differently?

Are there rules that determine if a word changes inflection depending on its part of speech? Some words seems to change inflection whether a noun or a verb, while others are pronounced the same. I ...