Word Stress in English

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LECTURE 4
Word stress in English
1. Nature of word stress
2. Place of word stress in English. Degrees of stress 3. Functions of the English stress
4. Tendencies of the English stress
5. Typology of accentual structures
1. The sequence of syllables in the word is not pronounced identically. The syllable or syllables which are uttered with more prominence than the other syllables of the word are said to be stressed or accented. Stress in the isolated word is termed word stress; stress in connected speech is termed sentence stress. If we compare stressed and unstressed syllables in the words contract ['kσntrækt], to contract [kən'trækt], we may note that in the stressed syllable: (a) the force is greater, which is connected with more energetic articulation; (b) the pitch of voice is higher, which is connected with stronger tenseness of the vocal cords and the walls of the resonance chamber; (c) the quantity of the vowel [æ] in [kən'trækt] is greater, the vowel becomes longer; (d) the quality of the vowel [æ] in the stressed syllable is different from the quality of this vowel in the unstressed position, in which it is more narrow than ['æ]. Word stress can be defined as the singling out of one or more syllables in a word, which is accompanied by the change of the force of utterance, pitch of the voice, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the sound, which is usually a vowel. In different languages one of the factors constituting word stress is usually more significant than the others. According to the most important feature different types, of word stress are distinguished in different languages. 1) If special prominence in a stressed syllable or syllables is achieved mainly through the intensity of articulation, such type of stress is called dynamic, or force stress. 2) If special prominence in a stressed syllable is achieved mainly through the change of...
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