18.1 Phonetic & Phonological Analysis: Can you examine the phonetic and phonological features of stress?

Chapter 18

Examine the phonetic and phonological features of stress


18.1 The phonetic and phonological features of stress

An initiatory supra segmental feature of utterances that applies to whole syllables. It is produced when a speaker pushes more air out of the lungs for one syllable than she does for an adjacent one. This greater push of air has three results:

a) An increase in vowel length.

b) An increase in pitch.

c) An increase in loudness.


18.2 Stress in strings of words

18.2.1 Normal

On content words. John kicked the ball.

18.2.2 Emphatic

Overrules normal stress. For emphasis or focus on something. Used to give meanings that the speaker wants to highlight. John kicked the ball.


18.3 Stress in words

Bi-syllabic, polysyllabic

Used to differentiate words that are phonetically similar in terms of word classes. Project, produce.

Stress placement in words depends on

  1. word class: Verb nouns; 2nd 1st syllable.
  1. morphological shape of the word: `f∂u ̨t∂u;`f∂ut∂ ̨gra:f;  f∂ut∂ ́gra:fik; f∂ ́togr∂fi
  1. Whether a word is bisyllabic or disyllabic. Disyllabic words have double stressed syllables. E.g. Fifteen pre paid ́fif ́ti:n  ́pri: ́peid Example: intellectual —Intellect —-Intellectuality

Summary: stress placement depends on

  1. Sentence/word
  2. Word – class, morphological shape, disyllabicity, number of syllables.

Presentation of stress

  • Above the stressed syllable or word. E.g.  ́John ́kicked the ́ball
  • Stress numerical numbers used to differentiate between content words that are all stressed.
  • Binary branching – s, w.

Formulae for stress numbers.

a) If a terminal node t is labeled w, its stress number is equal to the number of nodes

that dominate the lowest w plus

EXAMPLE a) The NARC government has to change. b) The hungry boys ate quickly.



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