Stress is an important feature of speech which creates special problems to many Nigeria speakers of English. In speech sound, there words that are ultered or produced with greater breath effort and muscular energy than the others. Such syllables with greater muscular energy are louder and longer and are therefore said to be stressed. Stress also involved the increase in pitch of the voice. In English, there are three (3) degree stress, namely:
- Primary stress
- Secondary stress
- Unstressed words
Syllables with great muscular energy are refer to as “stressed” while those produced with less effort are “unstressed”
A stress syllable is indicated by placing stroke at the beginning of the syllable.
RULES GUIDING STRESS PATTERN
There is no rule guiding the stress pattern of word in English, but if a word consists of two syllable, the first syllable is prefix, the second syllable attract stress while the first syllable is unstressed. Examples:
More examples on stress pattern. The meaning and the classes of the following words can also be affected by a change in stress pattern.
Indicate the stressed syllable in each of the following words by writing it in capital letters. E.g. Subject (n) – SUBject
WORD STRESS SYLLABLE IN CAPITAL LETTER