Presentation on theme: "STRESS insimplewords. The nature of stress More easily recognized than defined e.g. ´father´, ´apartment´, ´perhaps´ The conventions for marking stress."— Presentation transcript:
The nature of stress More easily recognized than defined e.g. ´father´, ´apartment´, ´perhaps´ The conventions for marking stress are: an upper vertical bar before the stressed syllable for primary stress e.g. /'fα:ð ә/ and a lower bar for secondary stress e.g. /‚f ә υt ә' græfık/ Q: How do we identify the stressed syllables? A: By choosing the role of either the speaker or listener as each of them focuses attention on different characteristics!
Speaker What does the speaker do in producing the stressed syllable? POINT OF VIEW OF PRODUCTION: the speaker uses more muscular energy in the production of stressed than in the production of unstressed syllables; chest muscles are more active, subglottal pressure higher, etc.
Hearer What characteristics of sounds make a syllable seem to a listener to be stressed? POINT OF VIEW OF PERCEPTION: stressed syllables are more prominent than unstressed syllables.
Loudness (*) Stressed syllables sound louder In a sequence of same syllables the one that is louder will be heard and recognised as stressed It is, however, difficult to change only loudness of a syllable without changing other components of prominence
Length (***) In a sequence of same syllables the one that is made longer will be heard as stressed, e.g. /dadadα:dada/
Pitch (****) In speech it is closely related to the frequency of vibration of the vocal folds, and to the musical notion of low- and high- pitched notes. It is a perceptual characteristic of speech, and syllable pronounced at a higher pitch than the rest of them will be perceived as stressed /da/ /da/ da/da/da/ /da/da/da/
Quality (*) If a syllable contains a vowel that is different in quality from the vowels in surrounding syllables, it will be perceived as stressed: /dα:dα:d¡:dα:dα:/
Note that usually all four factors combine to give us what is known as word stress. So much so that it is in fact difficult to utter the preceding examples, e.g. that of loudness, without involving the other three. Note that usually all four factors combine to give us what is known as word stress. So much so that it is in fact difficult to utter the preceding examples, e.g. that of loudness, without involving the other three.
We can examine these factors more objectively The following screenshots are of the WASP (Dept. Of Phonetics, University College London) program for speech analysis.
Stress for learners of ESL (no pun intended!) English stress patterns are generally rather irregular. Let’s make a comparison with a language like Italian, which is highly regular. Any native speaker of Italian will know where the stress should lie on the following nonsense words: obbello, toderno, entedettoli. Unusual stress patterns are marked orthographically, e.g. calamita/calamitàmeta/metà
Native English speakers cannot be so sure about placement of stress in words they have never heard (as well as phonemic realisation). Accents (ò,à,ù etc.) are not used in the writing system.
Stress placement is by no means uniform all over the English-speaking world. Some differences are regional (e.g. G.B. magaZINE, N.Z. MAgazine) others are between individual speakers in the same geographical area (e.g. kiLometer, KIlometer). These examples are present but not particularly widespread.
Consequences of misplaced stress Placing stress on the wrong syllable in a single word usually doesn’t lead to comprehension problems, although it does require extra effort by the listener. Placing stress on the wrong syllable in a single word usually doesn’t lead to comprehension problems, although it does require extra effort by the listener. Stress (together with intonation) has important functions, misplacing, or not placing enough stress may make communication ambiguous.
Acquiring stress patterns English word stress is not totally haphazard and many authors have proposed systems to explain its functioning. While some recommend that learners utilise these rather complicated systems, others feel that it is better to take words one-by-one. Clearly if words are to be taken individually the learner must do a lot of listening and/or dictionary work.
Stress in verbs and nouns One problematic point is that of words that have one stress pattern if nouns and another if verbs e.g. NounVerb DEsertdeSERT IMportimPORT EScorteSCORT REcordreCORD PROtestproTEST
Compounds Compounds usually have main stress on the first, qualifying item, e.g. SMART card CAR park SWImming pool AIRbag NIGHTclub N.B. many compounds are present in other languages as loan words. Italian speakers usually place the stress on the second element, e.g. airBAG, and do the same when speaking in English.