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Thread: courage

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default courage

    Are there two accepted pronunciations of the word 'courage' ?
    Namely one with the cou most stressed and another with ra most stressed?
    If the answer is affirmative, where are these pronunciation patterns most used?

    I think the same happens with the word adult, I have seen it pronounced with two different stress patterns.

    PS Feel free to correct any mistakes in this post

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    anupumh is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: courage

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Are there two accepted pronunciations of the word 'courage' ?
    Namely one with the cou most stressed and another with ra most stressed?
    If the answer is affirmative, where are these pronunciation patterns most used?

    I think the same happens with the word adult, I have seen it pronounced with two different stress patterns.

    PS Feel free to correct any mistakes in this post
    Courage is bisyllabic CUR-ij noun and its first syllable is stressed (mostly in bisyllabic nouns first syllable is stressed and bisyllabic verbs second syllable is stressed)
    Courageous has three syllables and is an adjective, out in this the second syllable is stressed cu-RA-js.

    Yes adult has 2 pronunciations, one of them the first syllable is stressed which makes the first sound a pure vowel and in the second one, second syllable is stressed making the first sound as shwa (inverted e).

    As a thumb rule the stressed syllable will always have a pure vowel sound and destressed syllable will have a short shwa sound.

    Controversy also has 2 pronunciations differing on the basis of which syllable is stressed. Both the pronunciations are accepted.

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: courage

    Thanks.
    What about the words

    encouragement
    courageous
    encourage
    encouraging

    Which of them, if any, have two different accepted pronunciations?

    PS Feel free to correct any mistakes in this post

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    JeffM is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: courage

    Courage has only one accepted form as the other poster said.

    As for your other word list, MEEC by Lorna D. Sikorski explains the patterns of those words and all others in Chapter 2 of her book.

    Adult does have two distinct pronunciations. In Bryan A Garner's Dictionary of Modern American Usage, he explains that the two patterns are attached to social class. A-dult being upper class and e-adult (with the shwa) lower class. He provides a comprehensive list of words that do this on page 126.

    Here are a few he lists but without phonetic spelling its hard to show the difference.

    comparable
    descent
    escape
    height
    library
    often
    police
    toward

    Hope that helps.

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