3. Discuss various stress patterns in words with suitable examples:

Stress patterns, also known as accent patterns, refer to the way syllables within words are emphasized or pronounced with greater force. English words follow certain stress patterns that contribute to the rhythm and melody of spoken language. There are three main stress patterns: primary stress, secondary stress, and unstressed syllables.

i. Primary Stress: This is the strongest stress in a word and is marked by a higher pitch, greater loudness, and longer duration. For example, in the word “elephant,” the primary stress falls on the first syllable: “ÉLE-phant.”

ii. Secondary Stress: Some words have secondary stress, which is less prominent than primary stress but still stronger than unstressed syllables. In the word “university,” the primary stress is on the third syllable, but there’s secondary stress on the first syllable: “úniver-SI-ty.”

iii. Unstressed Syllables: These syllables are pronounced with less emphasis and are typically shorter in duration. In the word “banana,” the first and third syllables are unstressed: “ba-NÁ-na.”

The placement of stress can also vary based on the grammatical form of a word. For example, in the noun “record,” the stress is on the first syllable: “RÉC-ord,” but in the verb “record,” the stress shifts to the second syllable: “re-CÓRD.”

Stress patterns play a crucial role in English pronunciation and contribute to the natural rhythm of spoken language. Mastering stress patterns is essential for clear communication and proper word recognition.

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