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TSL 1014

Language Development 1
Week 2
Stress and Intonation
1.2 Stress and intonation
 Stressed and unstressed syllables
 Rising and falling intonation
Stress Patterns: Characteristics of the
English Sound System (Phonology)

https://www.britishcouncil.na/exam/ielts/prepare/videos/spe
aking-pronunciation

Syllable and Word Stress


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu6UVwkUgzc

Speaking Clearly: Word Stress


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNmEeNmIxNI
Stress
 relative force or prominence given to a syllable
of a word (word stress) or to a word in a
sentence (sentence stress)
 articulation of a syllable with greater emphasis
(table, cupboard, furniture)
• characterised by
• louder volume
• higher pitch
• lengthened duration
Word Stress (Single Syllable)
 English words of one syllable are always stressed
Egs: cup, try, eat, skip, goal, etc.

• Words of two or more syllables carry a strong stress on


one of the syllable. This is done by saying one syllable
slightly louder by holding the vowel a little longer and
pronouncing the consonant clearly.
Word Stress (Two or More Syllables
 Words of two or more syllables carry a strong stress on
one of the syllable.
 This is done by saying one syllable slightly louder by
holding the vowel a little longer, making the pitch higher
and pronouncing the consonant clearly.

Practice
 First, parse the syllables in each word.
 Then, stress the correct syllable.
Most two-syllable nouns (climate, knowledge)
Most two-syllable adjectives (flippant, spacious)
four general rules of word stress as you
practice pronunciation:
Here are
Stress the first syllable of:
 Most two-syllable nouns (examples: CLImate,
KNOWledge)
 Most two-syllable adjectives (examples: FLIPpant,
SPAcious)
Stress the last syllable of:
 Most two-syllable verbs (examples: reQUIRE, deCIDE)
Mark the stress patterns below

equal equality equalise equalisation

neutral neutrality neutralise neutralisation

final finality finalise finalisation


Answer: Guess the stress patterns below

Oo o O oo Ooo oooOo

equal equality equalise equalisation

neutral neutrality neutralise neutralisation

final finality finalise finalisation


Stress the second-to-last syllable of:
 Words that end in -ic (examples: ecSTATic, geoGRAPHic)
 Words ending in -sion and -tion (examples: exTENsion,
retriBUtion)

Stress the third-from-last syllable of:


 Words that end in -cy, -ty, -phy and -gy (examples: deMOCracy,
unCERtainty, geOGraphy, radiOLogy)
 Words that end in -al (examples: exCEPtional, CRItical)

examples?
Stressed and Unstressed Words
Content Words vs. Function Words
Content / information words Function Words (usually unstressed,
(often stressed) unless in final position or used
emphatically)

nouns articles
main verbs auxiliary verbs
adjectives personal pronouns
possessive pronouns possessive adjectives
demonstrative pronouns demonstrative adjectives
interrogatives prepositions
not / negative contractions conjunctions
adverbs
adverbial particles
Unstressed Words
Many prefixes and suffixes are never
stressed
* Others like de-, dis-, en-, re-, in-, ex-, are
not stressed.
Fill the columns below with stressed and unstressed words.
Mark the stress patterns.
The Facebook Party that Became a Riot
It began as a plan for a very normal 16th birthday party. Sally Kay
wanted a quiet celebration with a small group of friends in her family
home in the small town. Like many teenagers, she decided to send
out invitations via a social network site. But Sally made one big
mistake: she used open-access settings on Facebook, so it wasn’t just
her friends who could see details of the event, lots of strangers
could too.
Stressed Unstressed
Facebook The
Party That
Became a
riot
Celebration

https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/skills/reading/upper-
intermediate-b2-reading/facebook-party-became-riot
1. Mark the stress patterns in the sentences
below.
2. Read this with the correct stress patterns
It began as a plan for a very normal 16th
birthday party. Merthe Weusthuis wanted a
quiet celebration with a small group of
friends in her family home in the small
Dutch town of Haren.
 What is the effect of putting together
stressed and unstressed syllables in
connected speech?
Rules and Patterns of Stress Placement
Rule 1:
 Many common nouns and adjectives carry the
stress on the first syllable.
Eg:
water, people, brother, table, finger, woman,
sister, father, butter, apple, pretty, ugly, etc.
Rule 2
 In compound words ( words formed by combining 2
nouns), a noun and an adjective, a verb and a preposition,
etc. It is common for the compound words which are
nouns to have stress on the first syllable.
Egs :
Teapot, windscreen, newspaper, chairman, postman, etc.
Rule 3
 Words that can be used as a noun and a verb with a
change of stress [PDF here]
Nouns – stress is on the 1st Verbs – stress is on the 2nd
syllable syllable

increase increase
export export
record record
Import import

Eg of sentence :
Did you re’cord the play? Did you play the ‘record?
Mark the stress, then say the phrases.
 Environmental emissions
 Indigenous health issues
 Statistical methods
 Successful negotiations
 Infrastructure projects
 Economic decision-making
Sentence Stress: Rhythmic Patterns
Mary, Mary
Quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells,
And cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
Sentence Stress: Rhythmic Patterns
Mark and read poems by Macwilliam
SUMMARY
 Correct word stress is essential.
 Wrong stress patterns can cause great
difficulties in understanding.
 Sometimes learners may not recognise
words spoken by native speakers because
the stress pattern does not match what
the learner has in his mental dictionary.
Tutorial Task Weeks 1 and 2
Let’s mark the stress patterns in words.
Refer to your worksheets
Online Task Week 1
Watch this video and practise stress patterns of the words
presented.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu6UVwkUgzc&t=21s
Online Task: Week 2
Further Practise: Stress Placement
Mark the stress patterns in these words.
Say these words and check the accuracy of your pronunciation using an online
dictionary

 Compromise
 Reconstruction
 Recyclable
 Biological
 Integration
 Guarantee
 Expectation
 Individual
 European
Intonation
• Musical sound of the language in which
we express emotions, attitudes and
reactions.
 In linguistics, intonation is variation in spoken pitch when
used, not for distinguishing words but, rather, for a range
of other functions such as indicating the attitudes and
emotions of the speaker, signalling the difference
between statements and questions, and between different
types of questions, focusing attention on important
elements of the spoken message and also helping to
regulate conversational interaction.
Intonation = Stress patterns in longer
utterances
Discourse and meaning
Uses of Intonation
1. Foregrounding (Prominence)
 Intonation is used to put certain words in the foreground.
There are 2 ways in which speech is used.

The speaker can Speakers can vary


make a word much their pitch by using
higher in pitch than rising or falling
others. tones.
Reflects Discourse Context
 Question: Now?

 Command: Now!

 Statement: She’s gone.

 Question: She’s gone?


Teacher Asks Students Respond
4. To convey attitude or emotion
A speaker’s voice tends become higher in pitch because of
excitement, anger, interest.

1. Great (perfunctory)

2. Great (enthusiasm)

3 Great (sarcasm)
Intonation
 Intonation describes how the voice rises and falls in
speech. The three main patterns of intonation in English
are: falling intonation, rising intonation and fall-rise
intonation. …

Falling intonation ( )
 Falling intonation describes how the voice falls on the
final stressed syllable of a phrase or a group of words.
 A falling intonation is very common in wh-questions.
…(genuine – don’t know the answer)
(counter intuitive right? What have we been taught?)
Rising Intonation
Rising intonation describes how the voice rises at the end
of a sentence. Rising intonation is common in yes-no
questions: …

Fall-rise intonation
 Fall-rise intonation describes how the voice falls and then
rises. We use fall-rise intonation at the end of statements
when we want to say that we are not sure, or when we
may have more to add: …
Sentence Intonation Patterns

Let’s refer to your handout on intonation


Source: UTS
https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/Pronunciation%204%20-
%20Intonation%20%26%20Connected%20Speech%20(MaryAnn).pdf
 2. Say the following sentence in 4 different ways:
 I think you’re right

 Choose how you say it: • General agreement • I agree


with you, but not with other people • I agree, but I still
have doubts • I agree

Source:
https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/Pronunciation%203%20-
%20Sentence%20Stress%20&%20Rhythm%20(MaryAnn).pdfwith you even if others don’t
Practise the following dialogue with correct
intonation
 Intonation exercises [here] and [here]