RP four /fɔ:/ - four eyes /fɔ:r ‘aɪz/ (all accents)
RP there /ðeə/ - there is /ðeərɪz/
*The idea is fine /ði aɪ’dɪərɪz ‘faɪn/ (intrusive /r/)
Rhythm Is English isochronous? (I.e. the time between stresses tends to be the same, no matter how many syllables there are in between). However, not all scholars agree.
Stress Stress, prominence and accent are intertwined concepts. Accent is more accurately used for intonation and social and geographical variation.
Stress is perceived or produced through changes in loudness (traditional approach), pitch (more often linked to tone), length and quality.
There are different types of stress:
A two-level analysis of stress (strong-weak syllables) is not realistic. Words with more than one syllable after the main peak of prominence usually feature secondary and even tertiary stress.
Suffixes may affect word stress:
With primary stress themselves: trainee /treɪ'ni:/, Portuguese /pɔ:tjʊ'gi:z/
Influencing stress in the stem: perfection /pə'fekʃən/, courageous /kə'reɪdʒəs/
Not affecting stress: comfortable /'kʌmftəbəl/, wonderful /'wʌndəfəl/
Prefixes do not normally affect word stress: preoccupied /pri:'ɒkjʊpaɪd/, unbelievable /ʌnbɪ'li:vəbəl/
Compounds may vary depending on the category of the words they include:
Many words with the same spelling have different stress patterns, depending on their function or word class (noun, adjective, verb…): desert, export, object, protest, torment, contract, insult, present, record, transport, escort, permit, produce, subject, survey. The syllable A minimum syllable is one single vowel (no onset and no coda) or even a syllabic consonant: arrive rock and roll The peak of a syllable is a vowel, diphthong, triphthong or a syllabic consonant which is the nucleus of the syllable. It is the essential part of it.
The onset of the syllable is the consonant or cluster preceding the peak of a syllable. It may be absent:splinter /’splɪntə/. The consonants in the onset may be pre-initial, initial and postinitial. The only sound in English that can be pre-initial is /s/.
The coda of a syllable is the consonant or cluster following the peak of a syllable. It may be absent: prompts/prɒmpts/ (pre-final, final, post-final 1, post-final 2). There is post-final 3 and no pre-final in texts /teksts/.
Rhyme is the combination of peak and coda (if any).
Maximum onsets principle: words should be broken down into syllables with as many consonants as possible in their onsets: extreme /ɪk’stri:m/, human /’hju:mən/. There are ambisyllabic words.
Juncture is the relationship between two sounds in contact (coarticulation): ice cream /’aɪs kri:m/ or I scream /aɪ ‘skri:m/, my turn /maɪ ‘tɜ:n/ or might earn /maɪt ‘ɜ:n/. The juncture can be external open, internal open or close.
Intonation. Intonation is basically given by variations of pitch. It can be defined as the melody of speech. Loudness, length, quality, etc. are also involved in the production and perception of intonation.
Tone languages (e.g. Chinese) use contours affecting the lexical level of meaning.
The 3 Ts:
Tonality. The speech chain is divided into units called IPS (Intonation Phrases or Tone Units)
Tonicity. In addition to other rhythmically stressed and unstressed syllables, in each IP there is a prominent or tonic syllable (the nucleus) carrying the nuclear tone.
Tone. The pitch can rise, fall, remain level, etc. producing a wide range of possibilities.
Tonality: the intonation phrase (IP). As a unit of speech, it may consist of one or more syllables or feet, as long as there is one contour or change of tone.
E’nough (1 IP)
I wonder if you can ‘help me (1 IP)
Have you been to that ‘pub? (1 IP)
If she ‘calls me | tell her I’ll be away for two ‘days (2 IPs)
Tonicity: locating the nucleus. The nucleus tends to be on the stressed syllable of the last meaningful word of the IP: