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The nature of English word stress

рефераты, лингвистика

Объем работы: 10 стр.

Год сдачи: 2010

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The nature of English word stress: phonetic and functional aspects of word stress.
Types of word stress in various languages.
The degrees of word stress. From a purely phonetic point of view a polysyllabic word has, strictly speaking, as many degrees of stress as there are syllables in it. Thus, there are five degrees of stress in the word ‘examination’. Yet the majority of British phoneticians distinguish three degrees of word-stress, needed for purposes of differentiating words from each other and identifying them. The strongest stress is called primary stress, the second strongest secondary, while all the other degrees of stress are grouped together as weak stress. The syllables bearing either primary or secondary stress are termed stressed, while syllables with weak stress are called unstressed. The American descriptivists distinguish a greater number of degrees of word-stress, using other terms to denote them as well as other transcription marks. F.g. B.Bloch and G.Trager classify the degrees of word-stress such as loud, reduced loud, medial and weak. H.A. Gleason and most other American descriptivists indicate the degrees of the stress as follows: primary stress, secondary stress, tertiary stress and weak stress. The main source of the rhythmic prominence of the primary stress is the loudness of the syllable, but the difference in pitch level causes a difference between primary and secondary stresses. Secondary stress is optional, basically it only appears in longer English words due to the rhythmic tendency of accentuation. Another basic difference between primary and secondary stress is that while the former can only appear once in a word (except for the so-called double-stressed words), there may be several occurrences of secondary stress, depending on the length of the word. The difference between the secondary and tertiary stresses is very subtle and seems subjective. The criteria of their difference are very vague.

The functional aspect of word stress. Like all phonetic phenomena, word accent must also be analysed from a functional, of phonological, point of view. The...
The accentual structure of words is inseparable from their syllabic structure. The sequence of syllables in the word is not pronounced identically. The correlation of varying prominence of syllables in a word is understood as the accentual structure of the word or its stress patte
. In disyllabic and polysyllabic words the stress patte
is constituted by the occurrence of syllables with different degrees of special prominence in different positions in relation to the beginning, middle and end of words. By special prominence in this case is meant the prominence, given to this or that syllable on purpose, in order to single it out among the other syllables. The syllable or syllables which are uttered with more prominence than the other syllables of the word are said to be stressed or accented. Thus, the word stress can be defined as the singling out of one or more syllables in a word, which is accompanied by the change of the force of utterance, pitch of the voice, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the stressed sound.
The complicated system of the accentual structure of English words and its instability presents much difficulty for Russian lea
ers. Student’s attention should be attracted to English multisyllabic words the accentual structure of which is regulated by the rhythmical tendency and the use of the secondary stress in them.

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