Thursday, 26 December 2013

stress minimal pairs - a subgroup

credit: Gary Allman

I think it was John Maidment who started the ball rolling when he put a posting online dealing with stress minimal pairs. I'd like to draw your attention to a subgroup, namely stress minimal pairs the members of which are semantically unrelated.

Consider /ˈtɔːment/ (= severe suffering) and /tɔːˈment/ (= to make someone suffer severely): They share the same
number and types of phonemes and they are semantically closely related. 

/ˈɪnsaɪt/ (= clear understanding) and /ɪnˈsaɪt/ (= encourage someone to do something) also share the same number and types of phonemes, but they are semantically unrelated (well, sort of). It this latter group I'm looking for. Here's a first list (some of the items may have identical stress):


  1. ˈessay (= writing) - esˈsay
  2. ˈforebear - forˈbear (vb)
  3. ˈforegoing - forˈgoing
  4. ˈincense - inˈcense
  5. ˈinsight - inˈcite
  6. ˈintern - inˈtern
  7. ˈtrusty - truˈstee
  8.  
  9.  
  10.  
  11.  
  12.  
  13.  
  14.  
  15.  
Any further examples are greatly /əˈpriːsieɪtəd/!

2 comments:

  1. ˈwellspring - Well ˈspring!
    (Sort of, as you said ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. These only work for some speakers:

    billow ~ below
    India ~ endear

    ReplyDelete