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Unit 14. Dis'organised and ,Recon'sider.

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Prefixes and Word Stress (1)

Unit 14; Part A

Some words are made up of a prefx and a root:

     prefix  
dis
like
 root
 
Common prefxes include: de-, dis-, il-, re-, un-. Sometimes the root can be used as an independent word (e.g. like), but other roots cannot (e.g. renounce and denounce, but not 'nounce').

Unit 14; Part B

In 14.1.jpgsome words the prefix is unstressed and is only made prominent (see Unit 10) for particular contrast. Compare:
    A: Do you enjoy driving?
    B: No, I really disLIKE it.
    A: I thought you LIKED driving?
    B: No, I really DISlike it.

Words like this are usually shown as having only one (main) stressed syllable:

     dislike /dι'slaιk/

Other words like dislike include:

de'grade
de'flect
de'fraud      
di'scolour
di'scourage
di'sintegrate
il'legal
il'legible
il'literate     
re'claim
re'fresh
re'place     
un'easy
un'pack
un'wise      
 
Other words with these prefixes have secondary stress on the prefix:

    ,decom'pose    ,recon'sider    ,unaf'fected

(See Unit 15C for stress shift in words like these.)

Unit 14; Part C

In words with de- and re- prefixes, the prefix is usually pronounced /dι-/ and /rι-/ if it is unstressed and /di:-/ and /ri:-/ if it has secondary stress. Compare:
       de'grade /di-/    but:  ,decom'pose /di:-/
       re'claim
/rι-/    but:  ,recon'sider /ri:-/


A few words with de- and re- prefxes are usually pronounced with an unstressed /-ι-/ in the prefix when they are used as a verb and a stressed /-i:-/ in the prefix when they are used as a noun.
Compare:
     Interest is likely to decrease. (/dι'kri:s/)
    
but:  There has been a decrease (/'di:kri:s/) in interest.

Unit 14; Part D

Some words beginning re- have the same spelling but a different stress and meaning depending on whether re- means 'again' or not. Compare:
       
recover
recount
reform
remark
resort
resign        
/,ri:'кΛv∂/ (= cover again)
/,ri:'kaυnt/ (= count again)
/,ri:'fo:m/ (= form again)
/,ri:'ma:k/ ( = mark again)
/,ri:'so:t/ ( = sort again)
/,ri:'saιn/ (= sign again)          
/rι'kΛv∂/ (= get well)
/rι'kaυnt/ (= describe)
/rι'fo:m/ (= improve)
/rι'ma:k/
(=comment)
/rι'zot/ (=  turn to)
/rι'zaιn/ (= give up a job)
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Note: When re- means 'again', the words are sometimes spelt with a hyphen, e.g. re-cover, re-count.

 



Exercises

flag.jpgComplete the sentences with words from the box in В opposite. Underline the syllable that you think will have the main stress in these words.
Key.1 unwise    
2 unpack    
3 discourage    
4 illegal

Example: They're going to  replace  most of the workers with machines.
1    It's _________ to forecast the weather too far ahead.
2    I haven't had time to _________ since I got back from holiday.
3    We have to _________ her from working too hard.
4    Parking on a double yellow line is _________.

Now listen and check your answers. Then say the sentences aloud.
 
flag.jpgWrite the same words from exercise 1 (including the example) in the spaces in these conversations. Again, underline the syllables that you think will have the main stress in these words.
Key.(Speaker A=Spain)
1 replace    
2 illegal
3 unpack
4 discourage

Example: 
      A: Would it be a wise investment?
      B: No, I think it would be very  unwise .    
1    A: Did you say you've misplaced your keys?
      B: No, I said I have to __________ them.
2    A: I suppose it's legal to bring alcohol into the country?
      B: No, it's completely __________.
3    A: Did it take long to pack your case?
      B: Ages, but it won't take long to __________ it.
4    A: Did your teacher encourage you to do the maths course?
      B: No, she tried to __________ me from doing it.

Now listen, check your answers and say the В parts aloud.
 
flag.jpgWrite the verbs from the box in the correct column according to the usual pronunciation of the de- or re- prefix. Some are done for you.
Key./di:-/ debug deregulate destabilise devalue
/dι-/ deflate deform delineate demote descend
/ri:-/ reapply recharge reconsider resit restructure
/rι-/ reflect refresh relapse replace review

 
debug    deflate    deform    delineate    demote    deregulate    descend    destabilise    devalue    reapply    reflect    recharge   reconsider    refresh   relapse    replace    resit    restructure    review
 

/di:-/ /dι-/  
/ri:-/  /rι-/ 

debug

 

 

deflate

 

 

reapply

 

 

reflect

 

 


Now listen and check your answers. Then say the words aloud.
 
flag.jpgChoose words from D opposite to complete the pairs of sentences. Use the same word in each pair. Think about the pronunciation of the words you have written and say the sentences aloud.
Key.(South Africa)
1 a recover /rι'kΛv∂/ ( = get well)    b re-cover /,ri:'kΛv∂/ ( = cover again)
2 a re-sign /,ri:'saιn/ ( = sign again)    b resign /rι'zaιn/ ( = give up a job)
3 a re-count /,ri:'kaunt/ ( = count again)    b recount /rι'kaunt/( = describe)

Example:
         a The band hasn't played together for years, but they've said they'll  reform  for the charity concert. (/,ri:'fo:m/ = form again)
         b The government are going to   reform  health care.  (/rι'fo:m/ = improve)
1       a She'd been seriously ill and it took her a long time to ___________.
         b The chair was badly stained, so we had to ___________ it.
2       a He hasn't agreed yet to ___________ for the club for the next baseball season.
         b If working conditions don't improve soon, she's threatening to ___________.
3       a When the phone rang, I forgot how many books I'd already put in the box, so I had
         b He liked to ___________ his wartime experiences to anyone who'd listen.

Now listen and check.
 
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