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  1. #1
    Michaelautu Guest

    Default main stress in a sentence

    Hello,

    I am a student. I need your help with my assignment about sentence stress.As a non-native speaker I find it difficult to clearly define the alternatives of stress in the following dialogue:
    Thank you very much.
    The question is:

    3) show weak forms and syllables bearing main stress. Discuss any possible alternatives.

    a)

    Ray: Hi mum.

    Mum: Hi. You’re late

    Ray: Yeah, that bastard Sootbucket kept us in again.

    Mum: Nana’s here.

    Ray: Oh sorry. Where is she?

    Mum: In the kitchen.

    Ray: Is she staying for tea?

    b)

    Ray: Good afternoon, sir.

    Headmaster: What are you doing here at this time?

    Ray: Mr Sutton kept us in, sir.

    Headmaster: Why did he do that?

    Ray: He thought we didn’t do our homework but we did sir. Really

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: main stress in a sentence

    Firstly, as it is an assignment, please put what you think the answers are.

  3. #3
    marianapap is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: main stress in a sentence

    Section A
    3) Transcribe the following passages phonemically. Use RP-type pronunciation, showing weak forms and syllables bearing main stress. Discuss any possible alternatives (150-250 words).

    a)

    Ray: Hi mum. / Hi mum.
    Mum: Hi. You’re late/ Hi. You’re late
    Ray: Yeah, that bastard Sootbucket kept us in again./yeah, that bastard Sootbucket kept us in again.
    Mum: Nana’s here.
    Ray: Oh sorry. Where is she?
    Mum: In the kitchen.
    Ray: Is she staying for tea?Is she staying for tea?


    b)

    Ray: Good afternoon, sir.
    Headmaster: What are you doing here at this time?
    Ray: Mr Sutton kept us in, sir.
    Headmaster: Why did he do that?
    Ray: He thought we didn’t do our homework but we did sir. Really.

    There are two alternatives of the word stress in the first sentence of the dialogue. Depending on a mood, Ray could put stress on both Hi and mum if he was in a good mood or he could just come upset saying flatly ‘Hi mum’ without stressing the words. His mum could either reply with emphasis on ‘Hi’ and ‘late’ or she could stress ‘you’re’ late as Ray might have been expected to come earlier. Ray could either stress that ‘bastard’ that ‘kept them in again or he could emphasize ‘bastard Sootbucket’ putting the main stress on again to indicate the repeated action.

    The second dialogue would be treated in a different way without many possible alternatives to the stress. The reason is that in the second dialogue, Ray speaks to his Headmaster and needs to treat him with respect. Therefore, the words as well as the stress he uses are different from the ones he uses when he speaks to his mum. In the last sentence, Ray could emphasize did and really to show that he is not guilty.

    I am not sure about the stress an the alternatives. Can you please help me with that? Thank you.

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