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Unformatted text preview: Lecture notes: 3.2 June 30, 2009 1 Suprasegmentals The suprasegmental features of a language are variations larger than individual seg- ments. They are overlaid upon a word, phrase, or sentence. The two important suprasegmental features of English: (1) a. stress b. intonation 1.1 Stress English word stress is rule-governed, with many exceptions and special cases. (2) " diplomat di " plomacy " photograph pho " tography photo " graphic " monotone mo " notony Rule for nouns and adjectives: (3) Roughly, stress the third syllable, counting backwards from the end of the word. (4) Try it with: " diplomat di " plomacy " photograph pho " tography " monotone mo " notony But many, many exceptions. Some are morphological: Endings like -ic require stress on the syllable right before them, so: 1 (5) diplo " matic photo " graphic mono " to.nic Important for us: We should know how to read and write the stress marks: primary and secondary. The whole English stress rule is very difficult about fifty pages in Michael Ham- monds book so we wont go through it all. But we should know that stress is predictable and seems to be assigned by rules, rather than just falling totally at random. 1.2 Intonation Intonation makes the difference between these sentences: (6) A: Hes really not coming to the party. B: Hes really not coming to the party? Intonation involves tunes or rhythms that are put on top of the whole sentence. Notice that they dont change the meaning of any particular word; they contribute some extra meaning to the whole sentence. Well talk more about intonation next week. 1.3 Tone (pitch) lexical vs. phrasal We do want to distinguish one thing about English intonation from what we may have heard called tone languages. In English(and most other European langauges), the pitch at which you say a word does not affect the meaning its pretty much a free choice of the speaker....
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- Spring '09