Stress Patterns In Prefixes


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Stress Patterns In Prefixes

  1. 1. Prefix A prefix is a group of letters which you can add to the beginning of a root word* to change the meaning of the word. e.g. mis + fortune = misfortune *A root word stands on its own as a word but you can make new words from it by adding beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes). For example, 'comfort' is a root word. By adding the prefix 'dis' and the suffix 'able' you can make new words such as 'discomfort' and 'comfortable'. Prefix meanings: Every prefix has a meaning, for example: The prefix 'un' means 'not' The root word 'clear' means 'bright', 'free from difficulty' un + clear = unclear which means 'not clear' or 'dim', 'difficult to see or understand' There are no rules to help you remember which prefix you should use, although knowing the meaning of the prefix can help. Here are some examples of prefixes and their meanings...
  2. 2. Prefix Meaning mis means 'wrong' or 'badly' e.g. 'misspelled' or misspell means 'wrongly spelled' sub means under e.g. 'subway' means 'a way under the ground' pre means 'before in time', 'in front of' or 'superior' e.g. 'pre-packed' means 'packed before' un means not (there are also several other prefixes which mean not) e.g. 'unhurt' means 'not hurt' Adding prefixes to root words 1. Generally when you add a prefix to a root word* the spelling of the prefix and the root words stays the same. *A root word stands on its own as a word but you can make new words from it by adding beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes). Prefix + Root word = Word un + kind = unkind im + mature = immature bi + cycle = bicycle mis + fire = misfire in + visible = invisible Exceptions When you add a prefix to a root word the spelling of both usually stays the same, although when the prefix 'all' is added to a root word the final 'l' of
  3. 3. 'all' is dropped. all + together = altogether all + ways = always 2. With some root words more than one type of prefix may be added to give the word different meanings. Prefix + Root word = Word dis + appear = disappear - means to no longer appear, or cease to appear re + appear = reappear - means to appear again 3. Sometimes you can add more than one prefix to a word at the same time. Prefix + Prefix + Root word = Word re + dis + Cover = Rediscover 4. You can also add a prefix to a word which already has a suffix* added to it. *A suffix is a group of letters that you add to the end of a root word. Prefix + Root word + Suffix = Word re + play + Ing = Replaying un + want + Ed = Unwanted
  4. 4. Other prefixes Here are some other examples of common prefixes for you to learn. Prefix Meaning dis means away, apart, between, utterly (when used with a negative word) and not. e.g. 'disarm' means to remove or take weapons away mis means 'wrong' or 'badly' e.g. 'misfortune' is when your are not lucky and things go wrong or badly under means 'below' or 'beneath' e.g. 'underground' means below or beneath the ground over means upper, outer, over, superior or excessive e.g. 'overweight' means too heavy or fat re means again e.g. 'replay' means to play something again trans means across or through e.g. 'transatlantic' means across the Atlantic ocean inter means among, between or together e.g. 'intermission' is the short period of time between the parts in a performance or a film super means in excess, beyond e.g. 'supersonic' means faster or beyond the speed of sound anti means against, in opposition to e.g. 'anticlockwise' is opposite to the direction that the hands of a clock move in ante means before e.g. 'antenatal' means before giving birth post means after e.g. 'postpone' means to put something off until later, or after it was
  5. 5. Prefix Meaning originally planned Compound words There is another type of words called compound ,and its main characteristic is that it can be analyses into two words, both of which can exist independently as English Words( some compounds are made of more than two words but we will not consider these.) As with many of the distinctions being made in connection with stress, there are areas of uncertainty for example. It could be argued that “ Photograph” may be divided into two independent word,” photo” and “ graph” ;yet we usually do not regard it as a compound, but as a simple word.(If , however , someone drew a graph displaying numerical information about photos, this would perhaps be called a “Photo-graph” and the word would be regarded as compound).Compounds are written in different ways; sometimes they are written as one word-e.g. ‘armchair’, ‘ sunflower’-sometimes with the words separated by a hyphen-e.g. “gear-change”,” fruit-cake”-and sometimes with two words separated by a space- e.g. “desk lamp”,” battery charger”. In this last case there would, of course, be no indication to the foreign learner that pair of words was to be treated as compound. There is no clear dividing line between two-word compounds and pair of words that simply happen to occur together quite frequently. As far as stress is concerned, the question is quite simple. When is primary stress placed on the first constituent word of the compound and when on the second? Both patterns are found. A few rules can be given, although these are not completely reliable. Words which do not receive primary stress normally have secondary stress, although for the sake of simplicity this is not marked here. Perhaps the most familiar type of compound is the one which combines two nouns and which normally has the stress on the first element, as in “typewriter” “suitcase” “tea-cup” “sunrise”
  6. 6. It is probably safest to assume that stress will normally in this way on other compounds; however, a variety of compounds receive stress instead on the second element. For example, compounds with an adjectival first element and the –ed morpheme at the end have this pattern.<given in spelling only Bad-tempered Half-timbered Heavy-handed Compounds in which the first element is a number in some form also tend to have final stress. Three-wheeler Second-class Five-finger Compounds functioning as adverbs are usually final-stressed. Head-first North-east Finally, compounds which function as verbs and have an adverbial first element take final stress Down-grade Back-pedal Ill-treat Pseudo compounds: There are some complex words made up of two bound forms which individually are like prefixes and suffixes and it is thus difficult to analyze
  7. 7. such words as prefix plus roots or root plus suffix for example homo phobic, micro wave tele gram. Thus it might seem appropriate to regard such sequences as indivisible free forms. However, the accentual pattern on such words is like that most common in compounds that are the primary accent is usually on the first element and a full vowel is kept on the second element. Since they have no clear root, these sequences are here referred to as pseudo compounds. For example, although the primary accent on telephone could be predicted by the primary accent on the telegram and thermostat could not be so predicted. Some other examples in pseudo compounds are Kaleidoscope, prototype, monochrome. The accentual patterns of pseudo compounds are affected by suffixes as if they were simple roots, thus telephone, telephonic, telephonist; photographs, photographer, photographic. Variable stress It would be wrong to imagine that the stress pattern is always fixed and unchanging in English Words. Stress position may vary for one of two reasons; either as a result of the stress on other words occurring next to the word in question, or because not all speakers agree on the placement of stress in some words. The main effect is that the stress on the final stressed compound tends to move preceding syllable if the following begins with a strongly stressed syllable. Thus Bad-tempered but a bad-tempered teacher Half-timbered but a half-timbered house Heavy-handed but a heavy-handed sentence The second is not a serious problem. But is one that foreign learners should be aware of. A well known example is “controversy” which is pronounced by some speakers as and by others as it would be quite wrong to say that one was correct and one incorrect. Other
  8. 8. examples of different possibilities are “ice-cream” “kilometer” and “formidable” It is very important to note how prefixes are stress less. It is common practice among native speakers that they do not lay stress on the prefixes. How interesting it is to go through examples of such cases as in simple words like : Im-Possible, it surely illustrates how head of the word im is left without any stress while in case of possible the stress is produced. This effect on stress does not have the comparative regularity independence and predictability of suffixes, and there is no prefix of one or two syllables that always carries primary stress. Consequently, the best treatment seems to be saying that stress in words with prefixes is governed by the same rules as those for words without prefixes. Conclusion: So it is evident from the above discussion that there are not any steadfast rules for the stress in prefixes. Prefixes though play an important rule in the meaning and formation of the words in English language but it is hard to show the stress position in the words. In Prefixes it is observed that the root word is stressed leaving prefix behind. This shows that the second word is mostly stressed in prefixes. Even in compound words it is seen that the stress is not on the first word it is on the second word. References Roach Peter, English Phonetics and phonology Cambridge University Press UK. Data retrieved on 15-09-2008, www. English Vocabulary Prefixes EnglishClub_com.htm
  9. 9. Data retrieved on 15-09-2008 www.Word Stress Task.htm