Tuesday, 15 March 2011

R & R #3

Part II of the book Rhymes and Rhythm deals with stress assignment rules for words (including compounds) and phrases. This part comprises about 24 pages of the book.
Ch. 2 (= the first chapter of this part) deals with stress in mono- and polysyllabic verbs. The author divides stress in verbs into 7 subsections. In a parenthesis (p. 24) he writes: "Note that the numbers 1-7 correspond to the different subsections in this main section." In these subsections, however, the numbers are not repeated, although it would have made cross-referencing easier.

Here's the list of verbal stress patterns (with examples taken from p. 24; ˌ = secondary stress; ' = primary stress; - = unstressed):
1 -' surprise
2 -'- develop
3 ˌ' reload
4 ˌ-' introduce
5 '- tremble
6 '-- estimate
7 '-- realise [sic]

When you check the respective subsections variants of a particular pattern can be found, e.g. type 
6: besides '-- the reader is presented with the pattern -'--  as well, e.g. negotiate, accelerate.
Type 7 lists realize (here spelled with 'z') but also -'-- as in monopolize and --'-- as in institutionalize.
Verbs that are most likely to be mispronounced by advanced German EFL learners belong to type 4. Many of them use '-- for introduce or undergo.
When you do the exercises of this second chapter your are advised by the author (and I strongly support this) to listen closely to the rhythm of the sentences which contain such verbs, and when you repeat them you should make sure you shorten weak syllables, e.g.
CONrad comPOSED a conCERTo for TRUMpet


  1. What's the difference between types 6 and 7?

  2. @Lipman:

    In a non-rhotic accent, couldn't "reali{s|z}e" be disyllabic?

  3. Certainly, a homophone of *rearlise. (Then again, the same speakers probbly have only two syllables for estmate. :-) )

  4. @Lipman: Type 7 (= realize) contains verbs derived from Ns ord ADJs by means of the suffix -ize.
    Under type 6 are listed verbs ending in -ate, -ute, -ify, -iply and -upy.

  5. Thanks. So what's the difference between those two stress patterns?

  6. @Lipman: 6 and 7 are not distinguished by their stress patterns but by the types of verb.