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    slpjane is offline Newbie
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    Default Phrase Stress for Multiple Adjectives

    I have been looking for information for several hours now on stress patterns in phrases containing multiple adjectives preceding a noun.

    Can someone explain the rules for which adjective receives primary stress in these cases?

    Here are some examples:

    1) big red CAT
    2) latest high-profile CASE

    BUT

    1) global FINANCIAL crisis
    2) suspicious FILE transfers

    The only thing that I can think of is that in the second set of phrases, we can think of the adjective as describing the type of noun; for example, "FILE transfer" versus "MONEY transfer." However, this doesn't seem to quite resolve the issue for me.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Phrase Stress for Multiple Adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by slpjane View Post
    I have been looking for information for several hours now on stress patterns in phrases containing multiple adjectives preceding a noun.

    Can someone explain the rules for which adjective receives primary stress in these cases?

    Here are some examples:

    1) big red CAT
    2) latest high-profile CASE
    You are indicating stress on the noun, not any of the adjectives.

    BUT

    1) global FINANCIAL crisis
    2) suspicious FILE transfers

    The only thing that I can think of is that in the second set of phrases, we can think of the adjective as describing the type of noun; for example, "FILE transfer" versus "MONEY transfer." However, this doesn't seem to quite resolve the issue for me.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thank you.
    Actually in each of your examples I believe the normal speech pattern would be to emphasize the first adjective. For example, picture a news announcer using the following phrases....
    "The LATEST high-profile case" (There have been many high-profile cases in the headlines recently, we are now going to give details on a brand new one.)
    "GLOBAL financial crisis" (There are many levels of financial crises; small cities have occasionally gone bankrupt. This particular situation affects the entire world economy.)


    In the case of the BIG RED cat, usually each adjective would receive equal emphasis, since cats come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and each adjective adds specificity to the description of the particular animal in question. Similarly we'd say "the TATTOOED BALD man" or "the RED LATE-MODEL Corvette."

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