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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1answer
132 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?
3
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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
72 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
715 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
4
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1answer
519 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 ...
6
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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?
6
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1answer
462 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
205 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

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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2answers
455 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
261 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 ...
1
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1answer
669 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
519 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
670 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 ...
4
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2answers
887 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 ...
6
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1answer
358 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 ...
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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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
797 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 ...
1
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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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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4answers
1k views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I have been studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for plural word-forms that end in -&#...
4
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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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3answers
1k views

In what mode does Tom Bombadil sing?

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (book 1 of "The Fellowship of the Ring", chapter 7, "In the House of Tom Bombadil", specifically) the character Tom Bombadil sings many of his lines (much of ...
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2answers
683 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 ...
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 "...
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 ...
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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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5answers
2k views

Why is “omnipotent” stressed iambically?

"Omnipotent" is stressed like omˈnipotent, with a stress on second syllable. But both components are stressed on the first syllable ('omni and 'potent). And a comparable word, "omnipresent", has the ...
4
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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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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
645 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

Do words with primary and secondary stress lose the secondary stress in a sentence?

I read in a textbook that certain words in English lose the secondary stress when they appear in a sentence. For example, this female name has both primary and secondary stress according to the ...
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3answers
3k views

Word Stress in the sentence “I put it on the table”

the sentence: "I put it on the table" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'teɪ bəl ] and "I put it on the chair" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'tʃɛər ] I think the strongest ...
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2answers
226 views

Idiom: Get off your high horse (American English Stress) [closed]

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 ...
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0answers
602 views

Sentence stress and word linking with the problematic Y?

the question: Can I use your bathroom? phonetically looks like: [kə_naɪ ˈyuz yər ˈbæθˌrum] I think the stress should be on the verb USE and the noun BATHROOM. Am I right? Some dictionaries show the ...
2
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2answers
981 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 ...
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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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2answers
8k views

Marking stress for a syllable

In the word 'cartoon', sound is /kɑːtuːn/ word has two syllables, kɑː and tuːn and the syllable tuːn is stressed. But the online dictionaries don't show the dot (.) between these two syllables. but ...
2
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1answer
891 views

pronunciation of PYRamid vs. pyRAMidal

This recently came up in my geometry class: why is pyramid pronounced PIR-uh-mid, while pyramidal is pronounced pi-RAM-idal? From what I can tell, they both have similar roots and etymologies, so ...
5
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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 ...
3
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0answers
1k views

Stress on noun + noun phrases

When two nouns are combined, the stress is usually on the first noun, as in MILK bottle, DOG house, DOORknob, and POTATO salad. However, if the first noun denotes a place, the stress seems to be on ...
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4answers
2k views

Stress shift amongst speakers from India

I've noticed that speakers from India shift the stress in some words such as 'adjective', 'sentence' or 'tendency'. They normally stress the second syllable and not the first one as most people are ...
5
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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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3answers
586 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 ...