Unit 10. Contro'versial and ControVERsial.
Word Stress and Prominence
Unit 10; Part A
|In this course we use two terms that are related but different:stress and prominence. Most dictionaries which give the pronunciationof words also indicate which syllable(s) have stress. For example, CALD shows that 'party' and 'remember' have stress on only one syllable:|
party /'pa:ti/ remember /rιmem.b∂r/
and that 'controversial' and 'kindergarten' have stress on two syllables:
controversial /,kon.tr∂'vз:.∫∂l/ kindergaren /'kin.d∂,ga:.t∂n/
' shows main stress and , shows secondary stress.
When a word is used in conversation and emphasised (see Unit 33),one of the stressed syllables is made prominent. In a one-stress wordthis is the stressed syllable, and in a two-stress word it is usuallythe syllable with main stress. Prominent syllables are shown in capital letters:
I'm going to a PARty. I can't reMEMber.
It was controVERsial. She goes t KINdergarten.
Unit 10; Part B
|gProminence can move to the secondary stressed syllable in a wordlike 'controversial' when it is followed by a word with anotherprominent syllable, particularly when the frst syllable of thefollowing word is prominent:|
She gave a CONtroversial ANswer.
This is sometimes called stress shift. Stress shift can only happen in words where a secondary stress comes before main stress. Here are some more examples:
,understand I UNderstand EVerything.
,disap'pointing It was a DISappointing OUTcome.
Other words which often have stress shift include:
Note: Someother words with secondary stress rarely have stress shift. Forexample: a,pproxi'mation; ,corre'spondence; ,inde' cision;pro,nunci'ation.
Unit 10; Part C
|For particular emphasis or contrast, syllables other than those with main or secondary stress can be made prominent (see also Unit 47C):|
'hopeful A: I agree with you that it's HOPEless.
B: No, I said it was hopeFUL.
re' ported A: Apparently, Kim's been dePORTed.
B: No, he's been REported.
|Are these one-stress words (write 1) or two-stress words (2)? Crossout the main stressed syllables and underline the secondary stressedsyllables. Use your dictionary if necessary.|
1 occasional ( )
2 supplement ( )
3 temperamental ( )
4 cosmopolitan ( )
5 pedestrian ( )
6 incoherent ( )
7 electronic ( )
8 spectacular ( )
9 documentary ( )
|Now listen, check your answers and repeat the words. |
|Underline the syllable you think is most likely to have prominencein the words in bold. In which two of these words is stress shift notpossible? |
indicates stress shift.
Key.* indicates stress shift
2 routine *
4 Mediterranean *
6 satisfactory *
9 sixteen *
12 independent *
The words which do not have stress shift are 'pronunciation' and 'propaganda'.
We used to live near the Berlin Wall. She's got a job in Berlin.
1 I'm working on my pronunciation.
2 It was just a routine job.
3 The film was made for propaganda purposes.
4 The region has a Mediterranean climate.
5 Next month she'll be sixteen.
6 There was a satisfactory outcome.
7 The country was declared independent.
8 I love living next to the Mediterranean.
9 It cost sixteen euros.
10 The book was just political propaganda.
11 The operation was quite routine.
12 They appointed an independent judge.
13 The result was satisfactory.
14 I'm doing a pronunciation course.
|Now listen and check your answers. Then say the sentences aloud. |
|Listen and underline the syllable that has main stress in these words.|
Now use the words to complete these conversations. Thenunderline the syllable in the word that you think is likely to beprominent.
A: So we have to take the old footpath?
B: No, we take the old footbridge .
1 A: So you thought the work was precise?
B: No, I said it was ___________.
2 A: You've lost your handbook, have you?
B: No, I've lost my ___________.
3 A: Yes, I thought the performance was lifeless, too.
B: No, I said I thought it was ___________.
4 A: I didn't think his findings were very objective.
B: No, they were very ___________.
5 A: Does the tabletop need washing?
B: No, the ___________.
6 A: I've brought you the paintbrush you asked for.
B: No, I wanted my ___________.
7 A: Did you say the country's rearming?
B: No, it's ___________.
|Now listen, check your answers and repeat the corrections |
Follow up: Do you know of any differences in stress in words in British English and in another variety of English you are familiar with?
| ||Unit 9 Unit 10 Unit 11|| |