Hello people,

currently I am studying pronunciation.
The book (English pronunciation for student teachers) writes the following: "A stressed syllable plus any following unstressed syllable is a foot. A word therefore consists of as many feet as there are stressed syllables in it."

I have no clue what they mean with that.
Could anybody please explain this to me. As simple as possible.


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Comments  (Page 2) 
No, sadly not.
I have my resit in August and I'm studying really hard for it right now.
That is why I posted the question. I want to be prepared for every aspect of the exam.


I'm sorry to hear that. That's too bad. Hopefully your resit will give you better results.

Good luck! Emotion: smile

- DJB -
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dokterjokkebrokActually, I've met one of the authors once. I'll make sure to mention it next time I see him.
Please do! Emotion: smile

The definition neglects to take into account whether only primary stress is to be considered or secondary stress as well. It also says nothing about an intial unstressed syllable. Is that a foot or not? And what about words that have two unstressed syllables in a row? Is only the first syllable after a stressed syllable part of the foot? It seems, because of these considerations, that some syllables of some words don't belong to any foot at all. Is that OK? Or must every syllable belong to one of the feet in the word?

Also, I can't help but notice that the definition of foot given here is different from the definition given for the analysis of poetry.

And, incidentally, I wonder what, in the overall presentation, hinges on the students' knowing how to parse a word into feet? Is the concept really necessary to the understanding of other topics to be presented later in the course?

Just curious.

Well said Jim! Emotion: smile
I'm pretty sure that's wrong. The most common 'foot' is iambic, which begins with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. So the words 'without' or 'good-bye' are iambic. The foot, in this case, begin with an unstressed syllable. A foot can also be two stressed syllables in a row.
Shakespeare is the most obvious example of feet and meter. It's in iambic pentameter- which means each 'foot' is 2 syllables, and there are 5 feet 'penta' (if there were 8 feet it would be octameter).

Rough winds/ do shake/ the darl/ing buds/ of May/,
And sum/mer's lease/ hath all/ too short/ a date/;

You can also have 3 syllables, like the word wonderful, where the first is stressed. So say you have a poetic line that reads;

Wonderful poetic mockingbird

This would be dactylic trimeter, with each 3 syllables acting as a foot. In this case, yes, each stressed syllable would represent a new foot.

Wonderful/ poetic/ mockingbird

Hope this makes sense. I'm by no means an expert, but I think this makes more sense than what that book said. I know I'm talking poetry, and not just basic pronunciation; but the rules should be the same, no?
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I still don't get it😩😩😩😩. I am currently taking classes on phonology and i am facing serious problem with understanding it😩😩

Try the following links.





Thank you.

I'd check it out✌️

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