I Sem - General English - Word & Sentence Stress

Word Stress
« The word is a linguistic entity composed of one or more syllables
« The syllable that is pronounced more prominently than the other(s) in the same word is said to be accented or to receive the stress
« In English there are several polysyllabic words in which more than one syllable may be prominent – one of the syllables is said to receive the primary stress; the other syllable that is secondly prominent is said to receive the secondary stress
« Primary Stress is marked with a vertical bar above & in front of the syllable to which it refers
« Secondary Stress is marked with a vertical bar below & in front of the syllable to which it refers

There are some disyllabic words in which word accent depends upon whether the words are used as nouns/adjectives or as verbs.
For nouns the stress is on the first syllable
For verbs the stress is on the second syllable
Noun / Adjective

Rule : 2   Accent in Compound Words
The most common type in English is the first of the two elements receiving the primary stress.
Air – raid                                 Cardboard
Bookshelf                               Footprint
Rule 3:
Words ending with –ever  & -self  take the stress in the second element
Her self                          what ever
My self                          when ever

Rule 4 :
Words with weak prefixes always take the accent on the root.
A board
A broad
Be come
Rule 5:
Words having weak vowel followed by a strong vowel syllables have the accent in the second syllable
Recom mend
Com pose
Ad vance
Rule 6:
Words ending in  -ion take the primary stress on the penultimate syllable
admi ration
appli cation
combi nation

Rule 7:
Words ending in –ic, -ical, -ically, -ious, -ial & -ially take the stress on the previous syllable
-ic               pathetic                        terrific
-ical            optical                           biological
-ically         chemically          psychologically
-ious           notorious                      atrocious
-ially           commercially               dramatically
-ial              commercial                  memorial
Rule 8:
Words ending in –ity take the accent on the ante – penultimate syllable (third from the last syllable)
a bility                           fu tility
ca pacity                       oppor tunity

Sentence Stress
In a sentence, some words have been stressed rather than other words.  This depends on the intention of the speaker.  Mostly the content words receive the stress rather than the structural words.
‘He is my uncle   ( not any other person, only he )
He is ‘my uncle   ( not any other’s )
He is my ‘uncle   ( not any other relation)