Word Stress & English Vowels - TESOL Community

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Word Stress & English Vowels - TESOL Community

Fine Tune Your Accent

Session 1:

Word Stress & English Vowels

Colleen Meyers & Elena Stetsenko

meyer002@umn.edu and stets002@umn.edu


Welcome!

This afternoon’s objectives:

• To identify the basic components of word

stress in US English

• To introduce the most important rules for

word stress

• To produce this pattern in controlled

exercises


Meaning

1. What’s in the desert Sand.

2. What’s in the dessert Sugar.


Meaning: Answer

1. What’s in the desert Sand.

2. What’s in the dessert Sugar.


Stress: Components

• What do you actually do to indicate the

stress

The vowel in the stressed ‘syllable’ (beat,

usually having a vowel) is:

– Longer (in duration)

– Louder (in volume)

– Higher (in pitch)

– Clearer (in articulation)


Stress: Components

• Let’s take a look using PRAAT

(pronunciation software):

http://www.praatlanguagelab.com/wo

rdstresstwo.htm -

(Word Stress, Lesson 2, page 4)


Stress: Unstressed syllable

• Now, what do you notice happens in the

UNSTRESSED syllables

The vowel is:

– Short

– Soft

– Low (in pitch)

– Unclear (in articulation)


Question:

• What is the most common vowel in

English

– [ae] as in apple

– [ə] as in but

– [iy] as in eat

– [a] as in father

Why


Answer

• What is the most common vowel in

English

– [ae] as in apple

– [ə] as in but

– [iy] as in eat

– [a] as in father

Why unstressed syllables


Practice I: Vowel Length

& Clarity

• Do Exercise 1 in pairs.


Practice II: Pitch Movement

• Do Exercise 2 in pairs.


Word Stress: Rules

• Most common suffixes

• One syllable before the suffix:

– -ic, -ical

– -tion, -sion, etc.

– -ity

• Two syllables before the suffix:

– -ate


Practice III: Suffix Rules

• Practice Exercise 3 in pairs.


Rules: Parts of Speech

• Two-syllable Words

• Compound Words

– Compound nouns

– Compound verbs

– Two-word verbs (phrasal verbs)

• Noun-Verb Pairs


Practice IV: Parts of Speech

• Do Exercise 4 in pairs.


Resources: Websites

• See handout.


Consultations

• If you’d like individualized consultations

with a language specialist, contact the

Center for Teaching & Learning:

• http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/co

nsultations/consultations/index.html


Summary

Vowels in stressed

syllables are:

Vowels in

unstressed

syllables are:

– Long

– Clear

– High

– Loud

– Short

– Unclear

– Low

– Soft


Workshop Evaluations

Thank you!


The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

This PowerPoint is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the :

Center for Teaching and Learning

University Office Plaza, Suite 400

Minneapolis, MN

612.625.3041

teachlrn@umn.edu

©2009 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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