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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2
votes
3answers
592 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 ...
0
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3answers
921 views

Where should I put stress in these sentences?

I am studying intonation and stress in English, and would like advice on where to put stress on these sentences. "How do you do?" Does it sound like this? HOW do you DO? Where should I put stress on ...
3
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3answers
927 views

Different prononunciations of “consummate”

How can one remember the pronunciations of consummate, which depend on its state as a verb or adjective? I venture that because its verbal definition involves intercourse, thus the "mate" rhymes with ...
6
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1answer
5k views

What syllable is stressed in “complex”?

I've read somewhere that if complex is an adjective, its second syllable is stressed (com-plex), while for noun, the first one (com-plex). But e.g. this link says that adjective can also sound as noun....
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2answers
686 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car (...
12
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1answer
3k views

Why do English men's names almost always stress the first syllable?

While looking at names of American Presidents I noticed that English men’s names almost always stress the first syllable. Barack Obama is unusual in that he’s only the second President (after ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Stress in “control” word

I heard the "control" word (and other similar words) stress depends on whether it is a noun or a verb. But I can't find any proof to that. Is it really so?
10
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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 ...
2
votes
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" (...
6
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3answers
3k views

How to stress any word properly?

Personally I think stress is one of the hardest things. There are thousands of words around, so most likely I cannot remember all stress-marks of every word then pronounce them exactly. Is it so ...
3
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2answers
589 views

Pronunciations of 'retard' and 'retardation'

Why are the verb form (/rɪtɑːd/, ri-tard) and the offensive noun form (/ˈriːtɑːd/, ree-tard) of the word retard pronounced differently? While I have heard both variants in use as part of the ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
20
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4answers
1k views

Why do photons and protons exhibit such anomalous behavior?

I first noticed in this answer that there is something sneaky going on with the word photon: its ‹t› is the stressed allophone of /t/, a fully aspirated [tʰ]. It does not reduce to [t] or [ɾ] the way ...
29
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4answers
5k views

Why don’t we write poetry like Beowulf any longer?

Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, uses a characteristically Germanic style of poetry in which the number of strong beats per line is what counts. Instead of counting syllables, strong beats alone ...
17
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2answers
2k views

What did we gain in return for the loss of phonemic vowel length from Old English?

In Old English, vowel length was phonemic, but stress and certain kinds of consonant voicing were not. In Modern English, that situation is reversed: vowel length is no longer phonemic, but stress ...
2
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1answer
782 views

Three-word phrase stress (“little straw house” vs. “small wooden house”)

I'm interested to learn why the following three-word phrases have stress on different words. "little straw house" (stress is on little and house) "small wooden house" (stress is on wooden) Here are ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Why are all acronyms accented on the last syllable?

When saying acronyms out loud, almost always the last syllable is accented (no matter how long the acronym is): US*A*, U*N*, RSV*P*, etc. Accenting any syllable but the last makes you sound silly (...
5
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2answers
3k views

Prosodic stress

What difference do different stress positions make to the meaning of the following sentence: What would you like? What would you like? What would you like? What would you like?
2
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2answers
2k views

What do we need for a stress in a word?

I am non-native in English, so this question may be a meaningless one or even a silly one. Why do we need a stress on one or more letters in a word? Indeed, a native person can read a word containing ...
7
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5answers
11k views

Which syllable is stressed in the word “nineteen”?

The dictionaries list both possibilities to stress nineteen (or any other -teen, for that matter): ,nine-teen and nine-'teen. Are the two pronunciations completely interchangeable, a matter of dialect,...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say "this record" and say "record this" — the text to speech system picks up the ...
4
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1answer
403 views

What is the proper emphasis for the word “indent”?

Does indent carry an accent on the first or the second vowel? I've seen both in IPA. My non-native ear would tend to favor the first.
5
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1answer
1k views

How did “defect” and “defect” come to have different pronunciations?

There are many interesting events in the history of the English language. Which one of them gave us “defect” (noun, /diːˈfɛkt/, imperfection) and “defect” (verb, /dɪˈfɛkt/ , change allegiances)?
14
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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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