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Unit 15. 'Subway and 'Super,power.

Prefixes and Word Stress (2)

Unit 15; Part A

In some words with prefixes, the prefix itself is stressed. Most ofthese words are shown as having main stress on the prefix and, in somecases, secondary stress later in the word:
       subway    /'sΛbweι/    superpower    /'su:p∂,pau∂r/

Most words like this are nouns and include:





In these words the syllable with main stress usually has prominence in discourse:

       We took the SUBway.    I'm j ust off to the SUpermarket.

Unit 15; Part B

However, other words with these prefixes have main stress on a syllableafer the prefix. Most words like this are adjectives and include:




In these words the syllable with main stress usually has prominence in conversation:

         They have to learn to co-eXIST    The climate here is subTROPical.

but prominence may go on the syllable with secondary stress in some cases
(see C).

Unit 15; Part C

In many words with a prefix, there is secondary stress on the prefix, with main stress later in the word:
      ,impre'cise             ,disa'gree             ,hyper'active
When these words are used in conversation they can have stress shift (see Unit 10B), with the prefix made prominent rather than the main stressed syllable. Compare:
      Her answer was impreCISE.    but:  She gave an IMprecise ANswer.
     He's hyperACtive.    but:   I work with HYperactive CHILdren.
     He disaGREED.   but:  He DISagreed STRONGly.
Here are some more words with prefixes which commonly have stress shift: ,decom'pose ,de'code  ,diso'bedient  ,disre'spectful  ,imma'ture  ,impo'lite ,mis'place   ,mis'spelt   ,recon'sider  ,repro'duce   ,unac'ceptable  ,unsuc'cessful

However, some other words with these prefixes rarely have stress shift, including: de'fame  dis'honest  im'practical  ,mis'judge  re'place  un'popular.



flag.jpgHere are the titles of some research papers given at a conference oneducation. Look at the words in bold some are given in A opposite andunderline the syllable that you think will be prominent.
Key.1 co-education
2 subconscious
3 interface
4 underachievers; subtitles
5 Superstars; counteroffensive (counteroffensive is also possible)
6 supernatural; undercurrents
7 co-writers; hypertext
8 international; counterparts

Example: Why do children become hyperactive?

Break @
1  Assessing the benefits of co-education
13 12.30
2  Activating the subconscious for reading development 
3  Technology and tradition in the classroom: exploring the interface
4  Motivating underachievers: using subtitles in language learning
Superstars as role models for children: going on the counteroffensive
6  Children's interest in the supernatural: some worrying undercurrents
7  Teachers and pupils as co-writers: an experiment in the use of hypertext
8  Making science education international: a study of British teachers and their Kenyan counterparts
 13 15.15

Now listen and check your answers. Then read the titles aloud.

flag.jpgMatch each word 1-7 with a word from the list a-g. Matched wordsmust have the same number of syllables and follow the same stresspattern. Words 1-7 are from A and B opposite.
Key.2 g (oooOo)
3 d (ooOoo)
4 f (Ooo)
5 a (oOo)
6 e (Oooo)
7 b (ooOo)

Example: 1-c     (co-exist and interlinked both have three syllables with main stress on the last syllable - ооO)

1    со exist
2    counterproductive   
3    interchangeable   
4    hyperspace   
5    substandard   
6    superstructure   
7    undercover 
a   cohabit
b   counterclockwise
c   interlinked
d   hypersensitive
e   subcommittee
f    superstore
g   underdeveloped
Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again and repeat the words. 
flag.jpgFocus on the words in bold (some are given in C opposite), andunderline the syllable you think is likely to have prominence. Whichwords have stress shift (that is, prominence on the prefix), and whichdo not?
Key.* indicates stress shift
1 impractical
2 review
3 impolite*
4 misplaced *
5 dishonest
6 dehydrated*
7 undressed

15.2.jpgExample: He was sacked for unacceptable conduct. (has stress shift)
1    She was wearing impractical shoes.
2    The government has promised to review hospital funding.
3    He tends to use rather impolite language.
4    There were too many misplaced passes in the football match.
5    The police have prosecuted a number of dishonest landlords.
6    The cream is very good for dehydrated skin.
7    He undressed quickly.

Now listen and check your answers. Then listen again and repeat the sentences.

Follow up:  What other words do you know beginning sub-  or  super-? Where do they have their main stress? (Use a dictionary to check.)

Unit 14      Unit 15     Unit 16 forward.jpg

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