Sunday, 15 July 2012

English Syllabification and Word Stress

A syllable is a unit of sound. It can be a vowel, a diphthong, or one or more vowels combined with one or more consonants.
Single-syllable words can be formed using one letter or many letters.
a
be
six
look
bought

In most English dictionaries, words that are more than one syllable are divided by a dot or space between the syllables.
Click on the example words to hear the difference between words with one, two, three, and four syllables.
1234
throughex·itpo·ta·toin·cred·i·ble

Syllable Stress

In words that are polysyllabic (have more than one syllable), one syllable is stressed. In most English dictionaries, the stressed syllable is indicated by a stress mark, a symbol that resembles an apostrophe. The stress mark follows the syllable that is stressed.
For example, in the word incredible, the second syllable (-cred-) is stressed.
234
exitoppo·siteFebru·ar·y
humidex·aminein·credi·ble
ma·chineem·ploy·eepsy·cholo·gy

Note: In English, most two-syllable nouns are stressed on the first syllable.
Aprilcarrothonorfather
MondaylemonevilMary

Putting stress on the correct syllable is especially important for words that are both nouns and verbs. If the stress is placed on the first syllable it is a noun, if the stress is placed on the second syllable it is a verb.
nounverb
contestcon·test
defectde·fect
insertin·sert
objectob·ject
presentpre·sent
protestpro·test
recallre·call
recordre·cord

No comments:

Post a Comment