I realized the second point when I couldn't get my stress right in Portuguese. (I learned a little Portuguese for some reason)
The only distinction between a stressed syllable and a non-stressed syllable in Portuguese is the length of the vowel.
I got the first point because I'm memorizing words now.
I think vowels like /aɪ/ /eɪ/ /ɔː/ /aʊ/ /oʊ/ /(j)uː/ /iː/ /ɑː/ /ć/ /ɛ/ seldom appear in non-stressed syllable.
/ʌ//ə(r)//ɜr/ are completely complementary (In Am.Eng).
/ɪ/, if it's represented by the letter E, is usually pronounced /ɛ/ or /iː/ when it's stressed.
Last edited by yangmuye; 17-Feb-2012 at 04:41.
But I think it's helpful, at least for Chinese speakers to know that the length is more important than the pitch.
I understood patran's problem immediately because I had the same problem.
Well, I admit that my diction is not good. If fact, there are many cases where the vowels are not stressed but retain full. You may give better counterexamples.
According to dictionary.com, the unstressed prefix a is usually a /ə/,
e.g. adjoin adject, assent, about...But if the a is followed by consonants like /p//t//k/, it is usually a /ć/.
e.g. advance, advice, accede...If a word has two syllables, and the second syllable has a consonant ending, it's usually non-reduced. But If the ending is /r/ or /n/, it's usually reduced.
'record vs. re'cord
disreputable vs disrepute
compete vs. competent
comedy vs. comedian
It seems that I've said too much off-topic things.
I'm not advocating “Pitch hasn't nothing to do with stess.”, “Length is the only feature of stress” or “Unstressed syllables don't contain full vowels”.
Last edited by yangmuye; 17-Feb-2012 at 12:13.