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Unit 12. Ac'celerate and Ac,cele'ration.

Suffixes and Word Stress (2)

Unit 12; Part A

In words with the following suffxes, main stress is usually on the syllable immediately before the suffix: -ial, -ic, -ion, -ive, and -ity. For example:
'editor - edi'torial
ac'celerate - ac,cele'ration       
'generous - ,gene'rosity
'atmosphere - ,atmos'pheric
'instinct - in'stinctive
di'verse - di'versity
note.jpgNote: In words ending -ative, stress is usually on the same syllable as in the root word. For example:
  in'vestigate - in'vestigative
'speculate - 'speculative

Many words with these suffixes can have stress shift
(see Unit 10). For example:

  He faces proseCUtion.
but: He's a PROSecution WITness.
When a word ends with one of the consonants t or s and the suffx -ion, this is how they are pronounced:

-tion is pronounced    /t∫∂n/ afer the letter s: suggestion, digestion
                                /∫∂n/after other letters: education, adoption
-sion is pronounced   /∫∂n/ after a consonant: extension, comprehension
                                /3∂n/after a vowel: decision, persuasion
-ssion is pronounced  /∫∂n/ admission, expression

Unit 12; Part B

In nouns and adjectives ending with the suffxes -ant, -ent, -ance, or -ence, stress placement depends on the spelling of the syllable before the suffix (the pre-suffix syllable).

  • If the pre-suffx syllable ends with a single vowel letter (V) or a single vowel letter plus a single consonant letter (VC), stress usually goes on the syllable before the pre-suffix syllable if there is one:

'ignorant (VC) 
con'tinuance (V)

'variant (V) 
'reference (VC)

'fraudulent (VC)
'ambience (V)

  • If the pre-suffx syllable has any other spelling, then stress is usually on the pre-suffx syllable itself:

ap'pearance (VVC)

,corre'spondent (VCC)

con'vergence (VCC)

  • If the pre-suffix syllable ends with the letter i and the root word ends with the letter у in a stressed syllable, the stress is usually on the pre-suffx syllable:
  com'ply - com'pliance

re'ly - re'liant


Some of these words ending with the suffxes -ant, -ent, -ance or -ence have a different stress placement from the root:
  ig'nore - 'ignorant

re' fer - 'reference

while others have the same stress placement:
  con'tinue - con'tinuance
ap'pear - ap'pearance  

Unit 12; Part C

Notice that the suffix -ment doesn't usually change the stress pattern in the root:
        a'gree - a'greement    'govern - 'government

although a common exception is:
       'advertise - ad'vertisement 



flag.jpgYou will hear some short definitions. After each definition press 'pause', choose from the box and write the word that it relates to. When you press 'play' again you will hear the correct answer. Repeat it and then continue in the same way.
Key.1 being hostile to something - hostility
2 when someone is prosecuted - prosecution
3 being willing to cooperate - cooperative
4 a newspaper article giving the editor's opinion - editorial
5 when people speculate to make a profit - speculation
6 acting on impulse - impulsive
7 being familiar with something - familiarity
8 to do with photography - photographic

cooperative    allergic     photographic    editorial    familiarity     prosecution    hostility    impulsive   speculation

12.1.jpgExample: Having an allergy.  alergic 

1  __________________        
2  __________________
3  __________________
4  __________________
5  __________________
6  __________________
7  __________________
8  __________________

One of the words in the box above is an exception to the rule given at the beginning of A opposite. Which is it?
Key.The word with a suffix which is an exception to the rule given at the beginning of A is co'operative. (It doesn't have stress on the syllable immediately before -ive.) 



flag.jpgWrite the words from the box in the correct column according to the pronunciation of -tion, -sion, or -ssion.
Key./t∫∂n/: combustion congestion digestion exhaustion
 /∫∂n/: accommodation celebration comprehension depression expression suspension
 /3∂n/: erosion explosion invasion revision

accommodation    celebration    combustion    comprehension     congestion    depression    digestion    erosion    exhaustion     explosion    expression    invasion    revison    suspension

/t∫∂n/ ( e.g. suggestion)       
/∫∂n/ ( e.g. education)     
/3∂n/ ( e.g. decision)     




Now listen and check your answers. Then say the words aloud.

flag.jpgUnderline the syllable which you think has the main stress in the following words.

Now listen and check your answers. Then say the words aloud.
flag.jpgDecide whether the words in exercise 3 have the same stress pattern as their root word (write S) or a different stress pattern (write D).
Key.S: de'fiant (de'fy); con'vergence (con'verge); ,corre'spondent (,corre'spond); as'sistant (as'sist); in'formant (in'form); ac'ceptance (ac'cept); in'sistence (in'sist)
(D): 'reference (re'fer); 'excellence (ex'cel); 'maintenance (main'tain); 'applicant (ap'ply); co' incidence (coin'cide); sig'nifcance ('signify)

Examples: resident (D) ('resident - re'side)
                performance (S) (per'formance - per'form)

Now listen to the root words and check your answers.

Follow up: Next time you read a book or an article, note down words ending in -ion. Mark the stress on them, then check in a dictionary to see if you were right. You can also add words ending in -tion, -sion and -ssion to the appropriate column in the table in exercise 2.

Unit 11      Unit 12     Unit 13 forward.jpg