Thursday, August 6, 2020

What Word do I Stress? (Primary Phrase Stress-PPS)

Primary Phrase Stress (PPS) is the loudest word in a phrase, or thought unit.

General Rule:   PPS falls on the last new content word in the phrase.   Content words consist of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  

    The match was between the TWO of them.   (Two is the last content word in this sentence, and it hasn't already been mentioned.)

My lessons on PPS will consist of Part I and II.  Find the videos here:  
Part I.    Part II (not ready yet.)  Both will include examples of the general rule as well as exceptions.   

example conversation:

Can I get a picture of you?
for a school project.
What's the subject of the project?
Biology.   We talk about snakes.
You're the snake.
You seriously can't take a joke.
You just wait.  I'll think of something good tomorrow.

Can I get a picture of you?  ("Picture" is the last content word.)
Why?  (There are no content words here, so stress the only function word.)
for a school project. ("Project" is the last new content word.  "School project" is not treated like a compound noun.)
What's the subject of the project?  (Project is old.  subject is the last new content word.)
Biology.   We talk about snakes.  ("Biology" is the only word in that thought unit, so stress it.)   ("Snakes" is the last new content word in the next unit.)
You're the snake.  ("Snake" is old information.  Also, there is a rule to stress explicit contrasts.  They are calling each other snakes!  To contrast between speakers, and who is accused of being a snake, "you're" is stressed.)
You seriously can't take a joke.  (We could stress "joke," as the last new content word, but we can also stress strong adjectives or adverbs.  Here, I chose to stress "seriously.")
You just wait.  I'll think of something good tomorrow.   Stress "wait" because it's the last new content word. Stress "good "because we don't include context-setting time adverbials, such as tomorrow, now, yet, again, as PPS.

Practice audio for this lesson found here:

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