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Stress in Compound Words

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Tracy Jabbal

on 22 February 2016

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Transcript of Stress in Compound Words

Stress in Compound Words
A compound word is made up of 2 (or more) words:
-foot + ball = football
-face + book = facebook
-hot + dog = hotdog

-break + through = breakthrough
-down + fall = downfall

-old + fashion(ed) = old fashioned
-absent + mind(ed) = absent minded
-half + dead = half dead
What is a Compound Word?
Both parts of compound adjectives are stressed. Stronger stress usually falls on the second component of two-word compound adjectives.

Many are formed by adding an -ed or -ing participle to an adv, adj, or N.
-well-KNOWN
-best-SELLing
-slow-GROWing
-well-DRESSed
Compound Adjectives
Phrasal verbs with postpositions (with adverbial particles) are compound verbs in which both components are stressed, usually with stronger stress on the postposition.
-fall aPART
-turn aWAY
-give UP
-move OVer
-break UP
Phrasal Verbs
We put the primary stress on the first component
(even if the words are written separately)

Football: FOOT - ball Swimming pool: SWIMming - pool
Facebook: FACE - book Armchair: ARM - chair
Hotdog: HOT - dog Photograph: PHOTO - graph
Chocolate milk: CHOColate - milk


Noun-Noun Compounds
Stress is the main distinguishing mark between a compound noun (stress on the first component) and a regular / free Attribute + Noun combination in which primary stress is on the second word (on the noun).

GREENhouse OR green - HOUSE
(a place for growing plants OR a house that is green)
BLACKboard OR black - BOARD
(where the teacher writes notes OR a board that is black)
ENGlish teacher OR English - TEACHer
(someone who teaches English OR a teacher from England)
Changing Meaning
If a compound noun is formed from a phrasal verb, primary stress in it falls on the first component, and the noun is usually written as a single word or with a hyphen.
-GETaway
-COMEback
-BREAKup
-LOOKout
-MAKE-up
-TAKE-off
Compound Nouns from Phrasal Verbs
If one of the components in a two-word adjective is a noun, stronger stress may fall on the noun, irrespective of whether it is the first or second component.
-WATerproof
-COLor-blind
-high-CLASS
-low-KEY
-SEAsick
Stress on the Noun
Even when compounds are written as 2 separate words, primary stress is STILL on the first word; secondary stress is on the second word.

-SMOKE detector
-MATH student
-BUS stop
-CELL phone
Written as 2 Words
-Grammar Lab: page 304-305

-Pronunciation Practice Activity: Box 63
Part A: underline the primary stress in each word
check your answers with the CD
Part B: note the primary stress in each
use these words to fill blanks in Part C
Practice
Word Stress/Emphasis
-Both components are stressed BUT
-one component has the primary stress (more stress)

-switching the primary and secondary stress can change the meaning of a word (examples to follow)
2 special cases
*manKIND
*well-BEing
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