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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0answers
69 views

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
122 views

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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2answers
787 views

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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3answers
6k 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 a region will I find almost everyone talking like ...
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1answer
5k 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
7k views

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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3answers
427 views

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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3answers
4k 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 ...
3
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3answers
2k views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word "...
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1answer
1k 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
21k views

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien's masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they're spelled wrong, but I'm trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh Rings ...
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2answers
670 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
6k 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", where ...
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1answer
676 views

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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2answers
3k 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 ...
2
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1answer
314 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
236 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
130 views

“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 circumstances?
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3answers
6k views

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 "...
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0answers
71 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
702 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
1k views

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
283 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
510 views

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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1answer
1k 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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3answers
203 views

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 ...
2
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3answers
582 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
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2answers
445 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. ...
2
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1answer
260 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
213 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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3answers
2k views

Stress on “can” and “could”

I can go there. I could go there. In these sentences, when spoken, how is the meaning altered by putting stress/emphasis on the words can and could?
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1answer
658 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 ...
3
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1answer
230 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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3answers
518 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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1answer
668 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 ...
6
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1answer
353 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 ...
4
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2answers
867 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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3answers
2k 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" (...
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3answers
3k views

Why are “suffice” and “sufficient” pronounced so differently?

Today I heard somebody use a form of the verb "suffice" (which means "to be sufficient") pronouncing it like the verb "surface" without an r (and where that "a" makes more of an "i" sound). This ...
2
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1answer
780 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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2answers
1k views

Is the diphthong [ai] on a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? [closed]

Is the diphthong [ai] on a non-primary stressed syllable a hypercorrection? Some American people pronounce the prefix "anti" like an-tie. For example, here's a pronunciation of "anti-Christian" http:/...
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1answer
1k views

A rule for identifying the stressed syllable in abstract nouns ending in -ity. Is it foolproof?

When I was a student I was taught that the stressed syllable in an abstract noun ending in -ity is always the antepenultimate. e.g. reliability spontaneity ability felicity eternity rarity ...
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0answers
209 views

Can the stress pattern of “uroboros/ouroboros” be explained by any principle, or is it random? [duplicate]

The word "uroboros," coming ultimately from Greek, has a couple of spellings and also pronunciations (see How to pronounce Ouroboros?). As explained by Nohat in the linked page, the two ...
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2answers
677 views

How to mark a stressed vowel in a text?

I write an article containing many Russian names and surnames, and sometimes it is important to specify which vowel is stressed (e.g. to distinguish Baskov from Baskov). In Russian we put an accent ...
4
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2answers
12k views

Why do American English speakers pronounce both syllables in “challah” equally?

I live in the US, and I've noticed that "challah" seems to be generally pronounced by Americans as something like /hala:/ (or possibly /ha:lə/), with either equal stress on both syllables or a slight ...
2
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2answers
240 views

Does the word “buttress,” which is both a noun & verb, follow the rules about where to put emphasis based on its part of speech? [closed]

buttress (n.) any prop or support buttress (v.) to support by a buttress; prop up Words like combat, abstract, project, and convict change the syllable that's stressed based on whether you're using ...
3
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1answer
643 views

TR sound and Word Stress

I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound. "To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the ...
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1answer
549 views

Word Stress in “I have a + noun”

I know that any word can be stressed in a sentence to give it emphasis, but in the following sentences I'm interested in a default unemphatic accent. When I pronounce these phrases: A: I have a ...
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2answers
1k views

Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
2
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2answers
978 views

How to explain the use of stress to emphasize agreement

In a discussion with someone whose first language is not English, the phrase "that is fun" came up, with the stress applied to emphasize agreement. This was taken as an insult; he thought the stress ...