Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

El sistema fonolgico del

Stress and intonation in English
Garca Pez, Esther y Salvador
Hernndez Pulido

Stress and intonation

in English


The relative force with which a sound or syllable is spoken. The relative force
of sound or emphasis given a syllable or word in accordance to a metrical
pattern. In English, any word with more than one syllable is stressed. Most of
the words are stressed on the antepenultimate syllable and the stress is only
phonetic because English lacks of orthographic accents.
Mistakes in word stress are a common cause of misunderstanding in English.
Here are the reasons why:
Stressing the wrong syllable in a word can make the word very difficult to hear
and understand; for example, try saying the following words:
oO Oo
And now in a sentence:
"I carried the b'tell to the hottle."

Now reverse the stress patterns for the two words and you should be able to make
"I carried the bottle to the hotel."
Stressing a word differently can change the meaning or type of the word:In English,
any word with more than one syllabe is stressed.
Nouns have first syllabe stress:
TAble LANguage TEAcher STUdent

Verbs have second syllabe stress:

The placement of stress also helps to differentiate words which are semantically
similar as in REcord (noun) and reCORD (verb) or semantically different as in
REFuse (noun) and feFUSE (verb).

Stress within a sentence

In the cases before, stress is a propriety of words
themselves. However, within a sentence stress falls on the
words which contain the main message or content words.
These words are the nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Karen has broken her new glasses
In the example above, has and her were not stressed
because they are considered as weak forms or grammatical
words according to their grammatical category.
This is important for foreign learners of English to know
because for them all words seem important and they
The following chart shows the words which are unstressed in
a sentence because of their grammatical category.

Main stress within a sentence

Speakers often decide that they want to give more or less
prominence to a particular word. A word may be given less
weight because it has been said already, or it may be given
more weight because the speaker wants to highlight it.
The quotation above suggests that stress within a sentence
will also depend on the speakers intention, on the message
that he wants to convey. Look at the following example:
I want you to come tomorrow (not other day)
I want you to come (nobody else).

Generally, when speaking our voice projects constant
changes, according to the message we want to convey.
In written speech, punctuation helps to group ideas and
units of meaning; in oral speech, intonation fulfills this
Intonation is the music in the voice. It can go up (rising
) or down (falling intonation
) sometimes,
it does both (fall-rise) or (rise-fall).
For asking questions, intonation usually goes