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  1. #1
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default reflextive pronoun stress

    Hi All,

    what happens if non-native English speaker ( for example ESL student ) say 'myself' with the stress on the first syllable ( 'my ) rather than the second syllable ( 'self' )

    according to this dictionary : stress on the second syllable

    myself - definition of myself, by Macmillan Dictionary: Free English Dictionary Online and Thesaurus.

    thanks

  2. #2
    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Hello Duiter,
    Nothing really happens other than stressing the first syllable makes it sound funny because the 2nd syllable is always stressed even when the word is overstressed. Nobody would misunderstand you but a native speaker might wonder whether you had an ego problem.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    ...although in rare contexts it can be stressed on the first syllable - for 'contrastive' stress. I can't think of a very plausible example though: 'This applies to yourself, not myself.'

    b

  4. #4
    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Hello Bob,
    This would be extremely rare in American English and so rare that I've never heard the first syllable stressed even in contrastive stress.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Extremely rare here too: but what about this:

    'The pronoun part of the reflexive pronouns is usually possessive, but objective in the third person: myself, yourself, ourselves and yourselves, but himself and themselves.'

    b

  6. #6
    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Hello Bob,
    You're right. As an aside to the orginal question, yours is a good example of using contrastive stress to clarify or emphasize various examples or parts of them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Extremely rare here too: but what about this:

    'The pronoun part of the reflexive pronouns is usually possessive, but objective in the third person: myself, yourself, ourselves and yourselves, but himself and themselves.'

    b
    That's called cheating!
    You're not using the words - you're quoting them. That's metalanguage.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    Yes, I was going to admit as much last night, but life intervened. If I'd punctuated it more carefully (with "" around the quoted words) the trick would have been more transparent!

    B

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    Default Re: reflextive pronoun stress

    I've tried it but it's so difficult!

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