General definition of stress in English

Giới thiệu về trọng âm tiếng Anh

Definition of stress: The pronunciation of a syllable with more force than the surrounding ones is called stress. In other word, stress is the way the speaker uses energy created by the air from the lungs to make the syllable more prominent than the others.

The nature of stress: what are the characteristics of stressed syllables that enable us to identify them? There are two different ways of approaching this question.

One is to consider what the speaker does in producing the stressed syllables and the other to consider what characteristics of sound make a syllable seems to a listener to be stressed. In other words, we can study the stress from the point of view of production and perception.

The production of stress is generally believed to depend on the speaker using more muscular energy than is used for unstressed syllables. From the perception point of view, all stressed syllables have one characteristic in common that is “prominence”.

Stressed syllable are recognized as stressed because they are more prominent than unstressed syllables. Therefore, prominence is made by these factors:

• The loudness
• The length of syllable
• Pitch (essentially perceptual characteristic of speech)
• Quality (syllable that contains a vowel that is different in quality from the neighboring vowels)

The 4 main factors are not equally important, the strongest effect is produced by pitch, length is a powerful factor, loudness and quality have much less effect

Level of stress : There are 3 main levels of stress
1. Primary stress
2. Secondary stress
3. Tertiary (unstressed)

VD: photographic [,fəʊtə`græfɪ ]; indivisibility [,ɪndɪvɪzɪ`bɪlətɪ ]; anthropology [,ænθrə`pɔlədʒɪ ]

It is worth nothing that unstressed syllable containing [ ə ɪ ʊ ] or syllabic consonant will sound less prominent than an unstressed syllable containing some other vowels VD: the first syllable of the word poetic [ pəʊ`etɪk ] is more prominent than the first syllable of the word pathetic [ pə`θætɪk ]./.

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