Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Stress Placement in English Bi-Syllabic and Tri-Syllabic Suffixed Words and Their Roots by Pashto Speakers in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (Pakistan)

Academic journal article International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities

Stress Placement in English Bi-Syllabic and Tri-Syllabic Suffixed Words and Their Roots by Pashto Speakers in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (Pakistan)

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

When we speak, our speech is not monotonous; it has its own rise and fall which ultimately render understanding in context of sounds. There are certain aspects of speech sounds that allow the listener to understand the speech to complete the process of communication. A syllable occupies a central place in this communicative aspect of speech. According to Krcmova (2007) a syllable is "the easiest and the most immediate articulatory unit of functional elements of speech that is satisfactory for communication". Peter Roach (1991) regards a syllable phonetically as "consisting of a center which has little or no obstruction to airflow and which sounds comparatively loud; before and after this center (beginning and end of the syllable) there will be greater obstruction and acoustic resonance". (Roach, 1991, p. 67). Closely attached to the syllable is the idea of stress, which has been explained by linguists in various ways (e.g. Ladefoged, 2001; Teschner & Whitley, 2004; Kingdon, 1958). Ladefoged (2001, p. 276) defined stress as "the use of extra respiratory energy during a syllable". Further, Teschner and Whitley (2004, p. 1) defined it as "the greater prominence or loudness that a vowel or syllable exhibits within a word, in at least two degrees: strong/ weak (or primary/secondary)". According to Kingdon (1958), there are two types of stress, namely, word (lexical) Stress and sentence (syntactical) stress. Word stress is defined as "the relative degree of force used in pronouncing the different syllables of a word of more than one syllable" Kingdon (1958).

There are some salient features that give prominence to primary word stress that become more elaborate when we look at primary word stress from two possible angles. First, from the perceptual point of view and second, from the point of production. Regarding production Roach believes that the greater muscular energy implied for stressed syllables as opposed to unstressed syllables in a word. From the perceptual point of view, it is prominence in syllables, (1991, pp.85-86). About the prominence in syllables, all phoneticians agree, that what make a syllable prominent are the following factors or components responsible for prominence in syllables: loudness, length, pitch, and a quality of a vowel. It is important to say that these factors complement each other in creating prominence in stressed syllables. They do not work in isolation; rather they are part and parcel to one another in speech. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them as they are all for one, and one for all in speech production and perception. However, not all of the factors are either equally important or always present but some of them at a time can render intelligibility.

Primary word stress, as the name signifies, is the placement of strong stress on certain syllables within a given word. Some words carry no word stress (mostly in the case of monosyllabic words) on the other hand some words has multiple stresses, with varying degrees of strength.

Besides investigating English primary stress pattern in bi-syllabic, and tri-syllabic stems and their roots, of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa English speaking students, whose first language is Pashto, this study also demonstrates whether the addition of different types of suffixes in multi-syllables words will assert an effect upon stress placement of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pashto speaking students. The analysis of this study is consisted in two main parts, English primary stress patterns produced by the subjects and the effect of suffixation on patterns of primary stress placements. The first part of this research is further sub-divided into (1) Primary stress pattern in bi-syllabic stems and their roots; and (2) Primary stress pattern in tri-syllabic stems and their roots. The second part of the this study is divided into four sub-sections by the types of suffixes involved, namely (1) ade and ese, stems of suffixes; (2) tory and cy stems of suffixes; (3) rious and ity stems of suffixes; and (4) cial or tial and ic, stems of suffixes. …

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