In a word, A stressed syllable is unstressed and An unstressed syllable is stressed – Why is that?

Usually, to stress a syllable we should say it louder, longer and higher in pitch than the rest syllables of a word. However, the following words in these below sentences such as California, talented, emotional, relationship, lying, traveling and welcome don’t seem to follow the rule of rising high in pitch when it comes to … Read more

When talking about age, should “YEARS” or “OLD” be stressed in a sentence?

When saying: A lot of them are more than a hundred years old. which word, “years” or “old“, should be stressed? And is each stress have a different meaning or not? If it’s yes, what are they? Because I heard a lot of people stressing either “years” or “old”, so it causes me confusing to … Read more

If I’m angry, which word should I stress in “You just walked in without knocking!”?

In the sentence “You just walked in without knocking!”, if I want to emphasize that I’m ANGRY about someone NOT KNOCKING the door, Which word, “just”, “without” or “knocking”, should I stress Answer I’d say all 3. ^ v ^ ^ You just walked in without knocking? … or even just on just and knocking … Read more

What is the meaning of a Falling Intonation in a yes/no question?

In the question “Did you leave an Easter egg during our interview?” from this video entitled, Taylor Swift Answers Ellen’s ‘Burning Questions’ Why did Ellen DeGeneres say “during our interview” with a falling intonation instead of a rising intonation at the end of the sentence? (see the below picture) As I know a yes/no question … Read more

Which word is stressed in this sentence “Sometimes you don’t even know…” of the below video?

Some told me different word stresses in a sentence conveys different meanings. So I’m learning to find out where the stress is. If the word is said clearly, powerfully and highest in pitch, then it’s easy to find out it’s the word the speaker wanna emphasize. However, there were some cases, in the same sentence, … Read more

Is this sentence ambiguous? ‘Tom left directions for Sam to follow.’

I know that some sentences can have different meanings when speaking them with different intonations. But in this sentence, ‘Tom left directions for Sam to follow’, could have different meaning? The book about phonology what I see now says it can have two meanings. Tom wanted to Sam to follow him. (accent on ‘follow’) Tom … Read more

Contrastive focus reduplication

I would like somebody to explain this colloquial structure to me: Contrastive focus reduplication (also lexical cloning, the double construction) is a type of syntactic reduplication found in some languages that indicates the prototypical meaning of the repeated word or phrase, a form of retronymy. The term word word was coined by U.S. writer Paul … Read more

Intention of rising pitches

I have been wondering about the rising pitch used in almost every sentence, by especially young Americans. What is the purpose/intention of rising pitch except in questions? Is it friendly and polite, or condescending? Is it proper to be used in presentation and teaching and other professional occasions? For example: In this video, starting around … Read more