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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.

Sincerely,

Daphne
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Comments  
Daphne SchroderI have no clue what they mean with by that.
I'm not surprised. It's contradictory. Take the word "kangaroo".

A stressed syllable plus any following unstressed syllable is a foot.

KANG a ROO. KANG is stressed and has a following unstressed syllable, namely a. Therefore KANG a is a foot. ROO, however, though stressed, has no following unstressed syllable, so it is not a foot. Conclusion: "kangaroo" has one foot.

But then:
A word therefore consists of as many feet as there are stressed syllables in it.

KANG a ROO has two stressed syllables: KANG and ROO. Conclusion: "kangaroo" has two feet.
______________

Maybe the first part is wrong (I suspect it is wrong), and a stressed syllable counts as a foot when no unstressed syllable follows.

I think you'll have to ask your teachers about this one.

Emotion: smile
CJ
Daphne SchroderHello 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.Sincerely,Daphne
Hi Daphne,

'Foot' is a term frequently used in poetry and it is important for rhyme and meter. Focussing on your question, however, I think the answer is already there.

You've probably been taught about stressed and unstressed syllables. Stressed syllables include all diphtongs, but not all monophthongs. Typical monothongs that are not included are
/ə/, /i/ and sometimes /ʊ/. These three sounds often occur in unstressed syllables.

The word doctor, for example, transcribes into /dɑːk.tɚ/ and contains two syllables (doc + tor). Doc is stressed and tor is not. According to the rule mentioned in your book, a foot is a stressed syllable plus any following unstressed syllable. Therefore, doctor has only one foot, because it´s a combination of one stressed and one unstressed syllable.

To recap, a foot starts where there is a stressed syllable and ends where there is a new stressed syllable. An unstressed foot therefore belongs to the stressed syllable that it follows. They belong together and that's why your books reads, ''A word therefore consists of as many feet as there are stressed syllables in it''.

Hopefully I´ve cleared things up for you. Please let me know if it was helpful or not.

Best wishes,

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Hi Jim,
CalifJimA stressed syllable plus any following unstressed syllable is a foot.
Doesn´t the word any in this sentence imply that we´re talking about unstressed syllables that might (but not necessarily) follow? Differently put, doesn't it mean that it's also a foot when not followed by an unstressed syllable? I was just wondering about that. But I think you're right if 'any' does not imply that here.

Best,
dokterjokkebrokDoesn´t the word any in this sentence imply that we´re talking about unstressed syllables that might (but not necessarily) follow?
Yes. Now that I take a second look, I suppose that is a valid interpretation. I do think, however, that the authors could have expressed it more clearly and saved us the trouble of analyzing their remarks in such laborious detail!

Emotion: smile

CJ
CalifJimI do think, however, that the authors could have expressed it more clearly and saved us the trouble of analyzing their remarks in such laborious detail!
Actually, I've met one of the authors once. I'll make sure to mention it next time I see him. Emotion: wink

- DJB -
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Hello People,

thank you for explaining it. My problem is solved.

And to DJB, please mention it to one of the writers. My whole class had problems with this chapter. And the exam went terribly wrong, my class contains 25 students. 1 passed the test.

Cheers!
Dear Daphne,

I'm glad to hear you got a pass. I will tell Mr. Gussenhoven. Emotion: smile

- DJB -
Oops. sorry Daphne. I misread and thought you had passed the test, but now I see you wrote '1' and not 'I'. My bad.

So were you the one student who passed it?

- DJB -
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