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English Words and Sentences: 

English Words and Sentences Chapter 5, Ladefoged

Strong and Weak Forms: 

Strong and Weak Forms citation form vs. casual form in connected speech In connected speech, the phonetic identity of words often changes. “bread and butter” [  ] strong form vs. weak form “a/an” [, ] before consonants [, , , ] before vowels “The [] man and the []old woman went to [] Britain and to []America.” Table 5.1 in p. 92


Homonym Homophone: sole/soul, tail/tale Homograph: right “권리” / right “우측” Heteronym: tear “눈물” / tear “찢다”

Assimilation vs. Coarticulation: 

Assimilation vs. Coarticulation Coarticulation is the articulatory process whereby individual phonemes overlap one another due to timing constraints and ease of production. Assimilation is the realized changes in the identity of phonemes brought about by coarticulation. Anticipatory coarticulation is by far the most common cause of assimilation in English as in “in the [ ]”.


Suprasegments In contrast with isolated words, connected speech is characterized by continual modifications or alterations in stress, in the timing of words, and in intonation.


Stress A stressed syllable in a word is generally spoken with more articulatory force, resulting in a syllable that is louder, longer in duration, and higher in pitch than an unstressed syllable. A stress gives special emphasis to a word or to contrast one word with another. `John or `Mary should `go `I think `John `and `Mary should `go. A stress indicates the syntactic relationships between words or parts of words. an `insult, to in`sult; an `overflow, to over`flow; an `increase, to in`crease a `walkout, to `walk `out; a `put-on, to `put `on; a `pushover, to `push `over a `hot dog, a `hot `dog Stress alterations in Table 5.2

Degrees of Stress: 

Degrees of Stress `multipli`cation `magnifi`cation `psycholing`guistics The `psycholing`guistics `course was `fun. The de`gree of `magnifi`cation de`pends on the `power of the `lens. The last stressed syllable in a phrase often accompanies a peak in the intonation. Unreduced vowel in the final syllable in Table 5.3, p. 95. Tonic stress: A syllable which is especially prominent because it accompanies a peak in the intonation.

Degrees of Prominence of Different Syllables in a Sentence: 

Degrees of Prominence of Different Syllables in a Sentence

The Combination of Stress, Intonation, and Vowel Reduction in a Number of Words.: 

The Combination of Stress, Intonation, and Vowel Reduction in a Number of Words.

Sentence Stress: 

Sentence Stress Some degree of sentence stress tends to fall on content words within an utterance. When any word receiving stress has more than one syllable, it is only the word’s most strongly stressed syllable that carries the sentence stress. Within an intonation unit, there may be several words receiving sentence stress but only one main idea or prominent element (or in the case of contrastive stress, two).

Sentence Stress (cont.): 

Sentence Stress (cont.) New information tends to receive prominence and generally occurs toward the end of an utterance. (cf. primary sentence stress). I like his style. Bill and Jane went home. If I get caught, I will get in trouble.

Sentence Stress (cont.): 

Sentence Stress (cont.) But phrases and sentences do not always end with a stressed word. Certain words in a sentence will usually receive emphasis or stress depending on: the level of importance of that word in the sentence (i.e., content vs. function words); the speaker’s intent of the message being conveyed (i.e. contrastive stress).

Sentence stress & content/function words: 

Sentence stress & content/function words Content words tend to (but not always) receive sentence stress; function words usually do not receive stress. I’m glad to see you. I’d like a word with you.

Which words should be stressed?: 

Which words should be stressed? Content words, usually stressed, include nouns verbs (excluding be, have, do) adjectives adverbs (including not) demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) interrogative pronouns (who, when, why, etc.) Prator and Robinett (1985: 30)

Which words should be stressed? (cont.): 

Which words should be stressed? (cont.) Function words, usually unstressed, include articles (a, an, the) simple prepositions (to, of, in, etc.) personal pronouns (I, me, he, him, it, etc.) possessive pronouns (my, his, your, etc.) relative pronouns (who, that, which, etc.) conjunctions (and, but, that, as, if, etc.) one used as a noun-substitute, as in the red dress and the blue one the verbs be, have auxiliary verbs (will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, must, etc.) Prator and Robinett (1985: 31-32)

Which words should be stressed? (cont.): 

Which words should be stressed? (cont.) More on the verbs be, do, have: Even when they are the principal verb in the sentence, they are usually unstressed. He is resigning. (auxiliary) Do you see it? (auxiliary) Harry is my best friend. (principal verb) Barbara has a lovely smile. (principal verb) They are stressed when they come at the end of a sentence, and when they are used in tag questions. I thought he was smarter than he is. All movies aren’t made in Hollywood, are they? Prator and Robinett (1985: 32)

Which words should be stressed? (cont.): 

Which words should be stressed? (cont.) She is a social worker. She is a social worker. to split up, to put on to look at him, to listen to him What are you looking at? At what are you looking? What are you putting on? * On what are you putting? (* means ungrammatical or odd) Prator and Robinett (1985: 32-33)

Contrastive stress: 

Contrastive stress The use of sentence stress to indicate a speaker’s particular intent is termed contrastive stress. I want iced coffee. I want iced coffee. Sheila purchased a new red sedan. Sheila purchased a new red sedan. Sheila purchased a new red sedan. Sheila purchased a new red sedan.

Sentence Stress: given vs. new information: 

Sentence Stress: given vs. new information Sentence stress also plays an important role in distinguishing the type of information being presented by a speaker. The words that provide new information to the listener would typically be primary-stressed. A: What did you have for lunch? B: I had a hamburger and french fries for lunch.

Primary and secondary sentence stress: 

Primary and secondary sentence stress The boys jumped into the pool. The boys jumped into the pool. The boys jumped into the pool.

Sentence stress and strong/weak forms: 

Sentence stress and strong/weak forms the word that you want I know that he will the reason for that is ... Who can go? John can. I can tell you. I can’t tell you. Prator and Robinett (1985: 35)


Exercises I don’t imagine you can succeed in a business venture. In an hour it will be ready to turn over to you. This red rose is to be planted here. He eats three full meals each day. I shall deliver it to you. She says that she likes the apartment, doesn’t she? Prator and Robinett (1985: 33)

Stress Shift: 

Stress Shift Mary’s younger brother wanted fifty chocolate peanuts. The big brown bear ate ten white mice. Eurhythmy: English tries to avoid having stresses too close together. Very often, stresses on alternate words are dropped in sentences where they would otherwise come too near one another. Avoid clash He eats three full meals each day. He eats three full meals each day. Avoid lapse I shall deliver it to you. I shall deliver it to you. He had a clarinet solo. / He plays the clari net. Vice-president Jones / Jones, the vice- president She’s only sixteen. She wanted a pretty parrot. / My aunt wanted ten pretty parrots. the unknown man / the man is unknown


Rhythm Stresses tend to recur at regular intervals. The boy is interested in enlarging his vocabulary. Great progress is made daily.

Stress-timed vs. syllable-timed languages: 

Stress-timed vs. syllable-timed languages English speech rhythm is usually referred to as stress-timed, i.e. with stress or beats occurring at regular intervals. This contrasts with so-called syllable-timed languages, such as French and Japanese in which each syllable receives roughly the same timing and lengths. Dogs eat bones. The dogs eat bones. The dogs will eat bones. The dogs will eat the bones. The dogs will have eaten the bones. 나는 학교에 간다. 나는 학교에 갔었다. 나는 학교에 갈 것이다. 나는 학교에 갈려고 한다. 나는 학교에 갈려고 했었다.

Stresses in English … (With Metronome): 

Stresses in English … (With Metronome) Stresses in English tend to recur at regular intervals of time. () It’s often perfectly possible to tap on the stresses in time with a metronome. () The rhythm can even be said to determine the length of the pause between phrases. () An extra tap can be put in the silence, () as shown by the marks within the parentheses. speed > speedy > speedily


Intonation The intonation of a sentence is the pattern of pitch changes that occurs. The part of a sentence over which a particular pattern extends is called an intonational phrase. Within the intonational phrase, each stressed syllable has a minor pitch increase; but there is usually a single syllable that stands out because it carries the major pitch change. It is the tonic syllable. The tonic accent usually occurs on the last stressed syllable in a tone group. But it may occur earlier, if some word requires emphasis. We know a man in our *area. We know a *millionaire in our area.

Tone groups: 

Tone groups Long sentences will usually have more than one tone group. Tone groups in longer sentences are signaled by a slight pause in the utterance (indicated in writing with a comma, dash, or semicolon). Yes! Not now. You took my umbrella, didn’t you? I got a blue scarf, not a red one. I need apples, pears, and tomatoes. The boys, who ate the candy, got sick.

Tonic syllable and tonic accent: 

Tonic syllable and tonic accent tonic (or nuclear) syllable: the syllable that receives the greatest stress in any particular tone group tonic (or nuclear) accent (cf. primary sentence stress) You took my umbrella, didn’t you?

Tonic accent and contrastive stress: 

Tonic accent and contrastive stress When a speaker uses contrastive stress to draw attention to a particular word in an utterance, the tonic accent would be located on the stressed syllable. It won’t rain today. It won’t rain today.

Sentence stress vs. tonic accent: 

Sentence stress vs. tonic accent Sentence stress and tonic accent are somewhat synonymous. But (primary) sentence stress refers to the word in an utterance with the greatest stress or emphasis. Tonic accent refers to the syllable with the greatest fundamental frequency. Therefore, the tonic accent will always be located in the word that receives sentence stress for any particular utterance.

Intonation (cont.): 

Intonation (cont.) Sometimes there are two or more intonational phrases within an utterance. When this happens the first one ends in a small rise, which we may call a continuation rise. I *worry when I’m away, || *knowing you’re unwell. The way in which a speaker breaks up a sentence depends largely on what that person considers to be the important information point in the sentence. An intonational phrase is a unit of information rather than a syntactically defined unit.

Intonation (cont.): 

Intonation (cont.) Tonic syllable (Prominent syllable) New information In contrast to some other previously mentioned information The most meaningful or important item in the phrase. The comment, not the topic, but with exceptions. A lion is a *mammal. A *lion is a mammal.

Types of intonation contours: falling: 

Types of intonation contours: falling Falling intonation contours are indicative of the finality of an utterance. falling and rise-fall The boys went home. (unemotional statement) The boys went home. (declarative statement)

Types of intonation contours: falling (cont.): 

Types of intonation contours: falling (cont.) In a falling intonation contour, the voice pitch falls throughout the utterance. In the rise-fall pattern, there would be a steady voice pitch throughout the tone group up to the tonic accent. Beginning on the tonic accent, the voice pitch would rise and fall within the same tonic syllable. If the intent of the utterance was such that one of the other content words was emphasized, the intonation contour would change accordingly.

Types of intonation contours: rising: 

Types of intonation contours: rising Rising intonation contours usually indicate some uncertainty on the speaker’s part. Rising intonation contours are typical of yes-no questions, incomplete thoughts. Are you coming? When I got work, I became ill. Rising intonation contours are also common when reciting a list of items. My favorite colors are red, blue, and green. Richie, Darren, and Williams came along.

Intonation (cont.): 

Intonation (cont.) Falling contour When will you mail my *money? Rising contour Will you mail me my *money? Will you *mail me my money? Small rising intonation in the middle of sentences When you are *winning || I will run a*way. We knew Anna, Lenny, Mary and *Nora. Will you mail me my money, or not?

Intonation (cont.): 

Intonation (cont.) Low rising Yes Go on High rising Yes Go on Rising and falling intonation within the same tonic accent Your *mom will `marry a `lawyer?

Intonation (cont.): 

Intonation (cont.) Differences in intonation (20-24, p. 103) Simple statement: “Her name is Amelia.” Question: “Did you say Amelia?” Continuation rise: “It’s your turn, Amelia.” Surprise: “Was is really Amelia who did that?” Strong reaction Amelia

Diagnostic Passage: 

Diagnostic Passage (1) When a student from another country comes to study in the United States, he has to find out for himself the answers to many questions, and he has many problems to think about. (2) Where should he live? (3) Would it better if he looked for a private room off campus or if he stayed in a dormitory? (4) Should he spend all of his time just studying? (5) Shouldn’t he try to take advantage of the many social and cultural activities which are offered?

Diagnostic Passage: 

Diagnostic Passage (6) At first it is not easy for him to be casual in dress, informal in manner, and confident in speech. (7) Little by little he learns what kind of clothing is usually worn here to be casually dressed for classes. (8) He also learns to choose the language and customs that are appropriate for informal situations. (9) Finally he begins to feel sure of himself. (1) But let me tell you, my friend, this long-awaited feeling doesn’t develop suddenly, does it. (11) All of this takes will power.

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