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Stress Patterns

  • A syllable stress is a word that is pronounced with a simple breath pulse.
  • If the rushing of air from our mouth occurs once as you pronounce a word, you have produced a syllable.
Kinds of Syllabic Stress
  • Monosyllabic Stress Word: These are words that have only one syllable. For example:
    • brush
    • push
    • laugh
    • cream
    • room
    • cheat
    • town
    • sharp
    • phone, etc.
  • Bi-syllabic Stress Word: These are words that contain two syllables. In bi-syllabic words, only one word is stressed while the other is unstressed. For example:
    • painter
    • doctor
    • local
    • river
    • listen
    • admire
    • mature
    • subdue
    • compare, etc.
  • NOTE: Most two-syllable nouns and adjectives have stress on the first syllable while most two-syllable verbs have stress on the second syllable.
  • Poly-syllabic Word: These are words that have more than two syllables. For example:
    • promotion
    • certification
    • confusion
    • decision
    • democratic
    • government
    • transporter, etc.
SENTENCE STRESS
  • Words in a sentence are not all given the same salience in oral English.
  • Some words are picked out and are stressed in contrast to others.
  • The one that is the most stressed is said to receive the sentence stress.
  • This usually implies difference in meaning.
  • In the following sentences, the sentence stress is indicated in bold case.
  • Consider the difference in meaning for each of these scenarios.

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