word stress

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PHONETICS, DICTION AND LAB WORKS II
IFD Nº 5 “J. E. Tello”
Rita Aldorino, MA - 2012
WORD STRESS- Introduction
 All words of more than one syllable have what is called word stress. This means that at least one of the syllables is
l o n g e r and louder than the other syllables. In the following examples, stressed syllables are in capital letters:
Column A
Column B
PHOtograph
PENcil
MARyland
Column C
phoTOgraphy
comMITtee
soCIety
photoGRAphic
volunTEER
inforMAtion
 To find out about the behavior of stress in words in isolation, it is always useful to think of the origin of the word,
and the way stress changes according to the suffixes or prefixes forming the derivatives from those words. Adding
morphemes to words can help discover whether the word is of Latin/ Greek or Saxon/ Teutonic origin.
Photo _________
Child
_________
Love
_________
Math
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
_________
 In many cases, word stress must simply be learned as new vocabulary is acquired. However, there are several rules for
word stress, which can make it easier to deal with.
I. Compound Nouns: these words may have different meanings, according to the stress pattern given
bluebird
bookstore
blackboard
toothbrush
bookworm
greenhouse
 In each of these examples, the first part of the compound gets the stress (uneven stress). If given even stress the
spelling would slightly change. How?
II. Noun + Noun Compounds ( 2-word compound nouns)
air conditioner
nail polish
Geiger counter
computer programmer
French fry
office hours
 Similar to the rule for compound nouns, the first part of the compound--here, the first word--gets the
stress. (Note: If the "unstressed" part of the noun + noun compound is more than one syllable, it will have some word
stress. However, the first part of the compound will get even more stress.)
III. Phrasal Verbs versus Compound Nouns derived from phrasal
 Phrasal verbs (two-word or two-part verbs) are generally made up of a verb and preposition. For many of
these, correct word stress is especially important as they have compound noun counterparts. In the following examples,
the words on the left are phrasal verbs. The words on the right are nouns.
let down
print out
take over
letdown
printout
takeover
 In phrasal verbs, the preposition gets the word stress. If they have a noun counterpart, however, it
gets the stress on the first part.
Sources : http://www.soundsofenglish.org/pronunciation/suprasegmentals
http://pronunciation.englishclub.com/word-stress.htm
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