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Stress-neutral Endings in Contemporary British English: an Updated Overview

Abstract : The present study is an attempt to account for current changes taking place in the behaviour of what are commonly taken to be stress-neutral endings in contemporary British English. The methodological framework being that of Lionel Guierre, this study aims for comprehensive coverage, via a survey of Guierre's original database (which was initially compiled from the 12th edition of Daniel Jones' "English Pronouncing Dictionary," 1964) and a systematic collation of all relevant items with the entries of current phonetic corpora such as the two editions so far available of "The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary," by Wells (1990, 2000), and the thoroughly updated 15th edition of Jones' "English Pronouncing Dictionary," by Hartman et al. (1997). From the entries of the above-mentioned dictionaries, it clearly appears that, in contemporary English, word stress is subject to variation and changes to a much larger extent than generally held. Thus, stress shifts are commonly observed in conjunction with allegedly neutral (and very productive) suffixes such as -"ed," -"ing," -"ly," -"atory" or -"able." Whilst some of these shifts can be ascribed to conflictual constraints, most are quite obviously induced by a system of rules governed by word categories and the quality of the syllable to which these suffixes attach.
Keywords : Stress english
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Contributor : Ives Trevian Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, December 25, 2015 - 5:04:10 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:56:33 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01248368, version 1


Ives Trevian. Stress-neutral Endings in Contemporary British English: an Updated Overview. Language Sciences, 2007, Special Issue: Issues in English Phonology, 29 (2-3), pp.426-450. ⟨hal-01248368⟩



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