Friday, September 24, 2010

accents (intonation) that determine stress

Dwight Bolinger, an expert on Intonation, wrote an article "accents that determine stress"; this appeared in "The Relationship of verbal and nonverbal communication" By Mary Ritchie Key

Bolinger tried to answer a few questions

1. Why penult stress is preferred?
2. Why full vowels are good for accent/intonation?
3. Reduplication and binomials (mish'mash, tick-'tock, flim'flam, see'saw, spick and 'span, hearth and 'home, weak and 'weary, from head to 'toe )
4. emotive accent on intensifiers (/god awfully bad, /butt naked, /butt expensive, /awfully sorry, /terribly tactless)
Check "new intensifiers" blog post

5. theme-rheme, the latter getting the prominence.

6. Why first syllable is not usually stressed? (thematic accent)

7. Why accent shifts to econdary stressed syllables?

8. Why sonorous syllables are preferred in order to accent? (check 3 again)

9. Why 'so good a person' is preferred to 'a so good person'

Use both amazon and google books to read his artciles.


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