WORD STRESS ERRORS IN
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain theSarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
Student Number: 081214037
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
WORD STRESS ERRORS IN
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain theSarjana Pendidikan Degree
in English Language Education
Student Number: 081214037
ENGLISH LANGUAGE EDUCATION STUDY PROGRAM DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND ARTS EDUCATION FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY YOGYAKARTA
Martha, Ludmila. 2012. Word Stress Errors in Students’ Oral Production. Yogyakarta: English Language Education Study Program, Department of Language and Arts Education, Faculty of Teachers Training and Education, Sanata Dharma University.
This study investigates the word stress production among fifth semester students of English Language Education Study Program in Sanata Dharma University. Two research questions are addressed: (1) What are the types of word stress errors produced by the students? (2) How do English learners overcome the word stress errors?
Content analysis is employed as the research method because this research uses a video of the play performance titled The Good Woman of Setzuan. The script of the play performance is already available that the writer could listen carefully to the students’ pronunciation while checking the play performance’s script in order to make the process easier. To collect the data, the writer uses some theories to help find the word stress error and compares the students’ word stress productions to the transcriptions in the dictionary. Afterwards, the writer transcribes the students’ word stress by listening carefully to the students’ oral production. How the students place the stress is also observed by the writer in order to analyze the data.
The results of this research show that there are two types of word stress errors. The first type of error produced by the students is misplaced word stress. In this error, the stress falls on the wrong syllable of the word. The second type of error is unnecessary word stress. This error happens to the word which has more than one primary stress, including the placement of stress on the correct syllable. Afterwards, there are some ways which are helpful for the learners to overcome the word stress errors. Firstly, students should master the phonetic transcription in order to understand how to pronunce words based on the dictionaries which use International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Secondly, students need to consult the dictionary for the placement of the word stress. Thirdly, it is important to listen to audio pronunciations and to practice the pronunciation in order to develop the pronunciation skills. The fourth action is to be aware of different stresses of words to avoid misunderstanding in communication.
Martha, Ludmila. 2012. Word Stress Errors in Students’ Oral Production. Yogyakarta: Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris, Jurusan Pendidikan Bahasa dan Seni, Fakultas Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan, Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Studi ini meneliti pengucapan tekanan kata di kalangan mahasiswa semester lima Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris di Universitas Sanata Dharma. Ada dua pertanyaan penelitian yang dibahas: (1) Apa jenis kesalahan tekanan kata yang dihasilkan oleh mahasiswa? (2) Bagaimana pembelajar Bahasa Inggris dapat mengatasi kesalahan-kesalahan tekanan kata tersebut?
Content analysis digunakan sebagai metode penelitian karena penelitian ini menggunakan video play performance berjudul The Good Woman of Setzuan. Naskah play performance sudah tersedia sehingga penulis dapat mendengarkan dengan cermat pengucapan mahasiswa seraya memeriksa naskah untuk membuat proses penelitian lebih mudah. Untuk mengumpulkan data, penulis menggunakan beberapa teori untuk membantu menemukan kesalahan tekanan kata dan membandingkan produksi tekanan kata mahasiswa terhadap transkrip dalam kamus. Setelah itu, penulis menuliskan tekanan kata mahasiswa dengan mendengarkan pengucapan lisan mahasiswa dengan hati-hati. Bagaimana para mahasiswa menempatkan tekanan juga diamati oleh penulis untuk menganalisis data.
Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa ada dua jenis kesalahan tekanan kata. Jenis kesalahan pertama yang dihasilkan oleh mahasiswa yaitu kesalahan penempatan tekanan kata. Dalam kesalahan ini, tekanan ditempatkan pada suku kata yang salah. Jenis kesalahan kedua yaitu tekanan kata yang tidak perlu. Kesalahan ini terjadi pada kata yang memiliki lebih dari satu tekanan, termasuk penempatan tekanan pada suku kata yang benar. Setelah itu, ada beberapa cara yang berguna bagi peserta didik untuk mengatasi kesalahan pada tekanan kata. Pertama, siswa sebaiknya menguasai phonetic transcription untuk memahami bagaimana mengucapkan kata-kata berdasarkan kamus yang menggunakan International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Kedua, siswa perlu memeriksa kamus untuk penempatan tekanan kata. Ketiga, penting bagi siswa untuk mendengarkan audio pengucapan dan berlatih untuk mengembangkan keterampilan pengucapan mereka. Yang keempat yaitu menyadari akan tekanan kata yang berbeda-beda untuk menghindari kesalahpahaman dalam komunikasi.
There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will
You will when you believe
- Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston –
This thesis is dedicated to my mother, my father, my brother, my close friends,
First of all, praises and thanks be to Lord Jesus Christ for His abundant
blessings, love, and strength that He has given to me. I believe that this thesis
could not be finished without His guidance and grace.
My next words go to my major sponsor, Mr. Barli Bram. I deeply thank
him for having read, discussed, and commented on my thesis with such careful
attention. I also greatly appreciate his valuable time, suggestions, and motivation
during the process of completing this thesis and also his constructive input and
support to the very end.
My deepest thanks also go to the students who performed the play
performanceThe Good Woman of Setzuan for helping me obtain the video of the play performance. Without their help, this study would have been impossible.
I am much indebted to my friend, Sasa. In particular, I am thankful for the
support, knowledge transfer, opinions, and productive discussions. I also thank
her enthusiasm, comments, and willingness to proofread my thesis. We have
shared much of our time together in revising and consulting our thesis.
I would also like to thank the members of my family. I thank my parents
as well as my brother for encouraging me to complete my education. I am
immensely grateful for the continuous prayers, understanding, support, and
patience. In the middle of my struggle, they have loved me and stood by me. I
I also want to express my gratitude to my friends who have shown interest
and encouragement, especially Nieza, Liza, Octa, Deby, Pita, Anggi, Levyn, Irine,
Sinta, Diah, Tia, Siana, Siwi, Carol, Adi, and Dimas. I thank them for
encouraging me and having given me useful information. I also thank Steve, who
has reminded me to give my best in finishing this thesis. I thank his motivational
support in the toughest moments.
Finally, I have to say that I am happy to have arrived here, to the end of
this long path, in which I have learned a lot. To many other names that I could not
mention one by one, I now wish to say a profound thank-you for all the prayers
and support. God bless all of us.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HALAMAN JUDUL... i
HALAMAN PENGESAHAN... ii
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY... iv
LEMBAR PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN PUBLIKASI... v
ABSTRAK ... vii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ... ix
TABLE OF CONTENTS... xi
LIST OF TABLES ...xiii
LIST OF APPENDICES ...xiv
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION A. Research Background ... 1
B. Research Problems ... 4
C. Problem Limitation... 4
D. Research Objectives ... 4
E. Research Benefits ... 5
F. Definition of Terms ... 6
CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE A. Theoretical Description ... 8
1. Overview ofWord... 8
2. Word Stress... 10
a. The Nature of Word Stress ... 10
b. The Importance of Word Stress... 12
3. Word Stress Rules ... 13
b. Patterns of Word Stress ... 14
4. Errors in Word Stress ... 21
B. Theoretical Framework... 23
CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY A. Research Method ... 25
B. Research Setting ... 26
C. Research Subjects ... 26
D. Instruments and Data Gathering Technique ... 27
E. Data Analysis Technique... 28
F. Research Procedure ... 29
CHAPTER IV: RESEARCH RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A. Research Results... 31
B. Discussion... 33
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS A. Conclusions ... 43
B. Recommendations ... 44
LIST OF TABLES
3.1 Observation of Word Stress Error... 27
LIST OF APPENDICES
1. Observation Table ... 50
1 CHAPTER I
This chapter consists of six major sections, namely, the research
background, research problems, problem limitation, research objectives, research
benefits, and definition of terms.
A. Research Background
Pronunciation plays an indispensable role in intelligibility, as Burns &
Seidlhofer (2002, p. 212) say that pronunciation is “responsible for ‘intelligibility’
– whether or not we can get our message across.” Kenworthy (1987, p. 13) defines intelligibility as “being understood by a listener at a given time in a given situation.” If this is the case, the purpose of intelligible pronunciation itself is to understand and to be understood. Connectedly, Morley (1991, p. 488) claims that
“intelligible pronunciation is an essential component of communication competence.”Therefore,a speaker’s pronunciationis important in communication since it can determine whether the speaker’s remark is comprehensible to the listener or not.
In teaching and learning process, pronunciation cannot be underestimated
because it is one of some important components which English learners need to
master. Accordingly, Harmer (2001, p. 183) argues that “concentrating on sounds, showing where they are made in the mouth, making students aware of where
spoken English and help them achieve the goal of improved comprehension and
intelligibility.” Thus, pronunciation is a crucial component in English and either
teachers or students need to pay it close attention.
Pronunciation also cannot be separated from stress. The stress is important
because different stress placements on some words might change the words’
meaning, such as in the word desert. When the word is stressed on the first syllable, it means “barren land, waterless and treeless, often sand-covered” (Hornby, 1974, p. 234), but when it is stressed on the second syllable, it means
“leave; go a way from” (Hornby, 1974, p. 233). Furthermore, the word stress can also change the word’s part of speech, such as in the word import. When the word is stressed on the first syllable, it is a noun, but when it is stressed on the second
syllable, it is a verb.
Gilbert (2005, p. 15) shows a scene that illustrates the kind of confusion
which can result from word stress error. Gilbert (2005, p. 15) states that it
happened in the United States when a Japanese customer tried to buy an electronic
gadget, so he asked the clerk for a “regista.” However, the clerk did not understand what the customer meant. The customer then recognized that there was
something wrong with his pronunciation, so this time he tried again by carefully
pronouncing the final consonant.
Clerk: (looking at the cash register) Excuse me? Customer: (trying a change of vowel)Rahgista? Clerk: Sir?
“The above incident illustrates how errors in word stress can create serious barriers to intelligibility, even when the individual sounds in a word are
pronounced correctly or near correctly” (Gilbert, 2005, p. 15). Similarly, Kenworthy (1987, p. 28) also explains that correct word stress is very important
for English learners because “if a non-native speaker produces a word with the wrong stress pattern, an English listener may have great difficulty in
understanding the word, even if most of individual sounds have been well
For learners, “the making of errors can be regarded as a device the learner uses in order to learn” (Selinker, 1992, p. 150). In this case, errors in foreign language teaching are regarded as the cases which are difficult enough to avoid.
Therefore, investigation of errors in language learning is important since error is
an unavoidable case for learners.
Regarding the explanations above, this research attempts to discuss ESL
(English as a Second Language) students’ word stress errors when doing the play performance The Good Woman of Setzuan. Therefore, this research investigates the students’ oral production when uttering the play performance’s script. Play performance is one of some subjects in Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta.
There have been many play performances conducted in this university which have
been starred by the students themselves. The Good Woman of Setzuanwas one of five play performances which were conducted in 2010. The reason why the writer
B. Research Problems
There are two research problems which are addressed in this research.
They are formulated as follows:
1. What are the types of word stress errors produced by the students?
2. How do English learners overcome the word stress errors?
C. Problem Limitation
This study is going to discuss the word stress errors produced by the
students when uttering the dialogue of the play performance. The stress in the
discourse can occur in sentence level and word level. In this case, the writer limits
this study only on the word level because the error of word stress can be checked
through the dictionary. Meanwhile, the misplacing or error of stress on the
sentence level “will lead to a change in the sentence's focus, and depending on the
context may have considerable pragmatic effects, but it will not produce an
anomalous sentence” (Cutler, 1980, p. 74). In other words, the sentence stress is related to the focus or context of the sentence and cannot be checked through the
dictionary because it is related to the speaker’s intention.
D. Research Objectives
The objectives of this study are presented as follows:
1. To find out the types of word stress errors which are produced by the
students in their oral production.
E. Research Benefits
The writer expects that the investigation of this research will give
beneficial contributions for further education development. Hence, this section
discusses some benefits that might be given from this research. The first point is
for English teachers who implement teaching word stress to their students. The
second point is aimed for other researchers and the last point is for English
1. The English Teachers
By reading this study, the teachers may find some words that are
commonly spoken using incorrect word stress. Hopefully, these might become the
feedback or useful insights for teachers to overcome the students’ problems in
applying word stress and to facilitate their students in acquiring correct word
2. Other Researchers
The researcher hopes that this research could help future researches and
further discussions on the topic of word stress. In this case, the future researchers
may use this study as the basic knowledge to conduct their research.
3. English Learners
To English learners, especially English Language Education Study
Program’s students, pronunciation is one of the important subjects. Moreover,
English Language Education Study Program’s students are expected to be English
teachers so that they are expected to be good models. The researcher hopes that
helps them develop their skill or ability in stressing words correctly. By observing
the word stress errors from this research, the English learners may also avoid the
same errors and hopefully they could overcome similar errors in their daily
F. Definition of Terms
In order to avoid misunderstanding, in this section the researcher discusses
several terms or concepts dealing with what the researcher intends to do
throughout this research. The important concepts used in this study are defined
Norrish (1987, p. 7) defines an error as “a systematic deviation when a learner has not learnt something and consistently gets it wrong.” Error is different from mistake because “a mistake refers to a performance error that is either random guess or a ‘slip’, in that it is a failure to utilize a known system correctly” (Brown, 2007, p. 257). Accordingly, it can be inferred that the difference between
errors and mistakes can be checked through the consistency. For instance, when
sometimes a speaker mispronounces a word and sometimes he/she pronounces the
word correctly, it is called a mistake. In contrast, if the speaker always
mispronounces the word, it is called an error.
the error happens consistently. Hence, the researcher carefully seeks the words
which have consistent errors.
2. Oral Production
The researcher aims to listen to the students’ oral production in order to
get the data. Consequently, oral production in this study refers to the students’ utterances. The utterances are taken from the recorded dialogues spoken by the
students in the play performance video.
3. Word Stress
Stress is “a cover term for the combinedeffects of pitch, loudness, and length-the result of which is vowel prominence” (O’Grady & Dobrovolsky, 1987, p. 40). The word stress is done by “saying that syllable slightly louder, holding the vowel a little longer, and pronouncing the consonants veryclearly” (Kenworthy, 1987, p. 10). Moreover, as mentioned in the limitation of this study, the stress discussed is only
focused on the primary stress, which is the most prominent or the strongest type of
stress. Therefore, the term word stress in this research refers to the perceived
8 CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
In this chapter, the writer attempts to present the theoretical writings that
support this study. There are two sections that will be discussed in this chapter,
namely theoretical description and theoretical framework. In the theoretical
description, the writer presents the theories which are relevant to this research. In
the second section, the writer relates the theories to the research in order to obtain
a theoretical framework in conducting this study.
A. Theoretical Description
1. Overview ofWord
It is useful to divide words into two broad categories, namely closed and open(Greenbaum & Quirk, 1990, p. 15). Jurafsky & Martin (2000) similarly state that words can be divided into two big categories: closed class types and open
class types (p. 3).
Greenbaum & Quirk (1990, p. 15) state that the closed classes, as the name
suggests, are words that are finite and often small with a membership that is
relatively stable or unchanging in the language. Jurafsky & Martin (2000) also
argue that closed classes are the ones that have relatively fixed membership, for
occur frequently, and often have structuring uses in grammar” (Jurafsky & Martin,
2000, p. 3). Furthermore, Greenbaum & Quirk (1990, p. 16) state that the words
“play a major part in English grammar, often corresponding to inflections in some other languages, and they are sometimes referred to as grammatical words, function words, orstructure words.”
Greenbaum & Quirk (1990, p. 16) also list some of the important closed
classes with a few examples of each; they are pronoun, such as she, they, anybody; determiner, such asthe,a, that,some;primary verb, such as be;modal verb, such as can,might;preposition, such as in,during,round; and conjunction, such asand,or,while,yet.
In contrary, open classes of words are “constantly changing their membership as old words drop out of the language and new ones are coined or
adopted to reflect cultural changes in society” (Greenbaum & Quirk, 1990, p. 16). Jurafsky & Martin (2000) also state that open classes are continually coined or
borrowed from other languages, e.g. the new verb to fax or the borrowed noun futon (p. 3). The numbers of open classes are vast and are the subject matter of dictionaries and they are often calledlexical words(Greenbaum & Quirk, 1990, p. 16).
Jurafsky & Martin (2000) claim that there are four major open classes;
namely nouns,verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (p. 3). Noun is “the name given to the syntactic class in which the words for most people, places, or things occur” (Jurafsky & Martin, 2000, p. 3). Generally, what defines a noun in English are
Republic), to take possessives (IBM’s annual revenue), and for most but not all nouns, to occur in the plural form (goats, abaci)” (Jurafsky & Martin, 2000, p. 4). Next is verbclass which is the class that “includes most of the words referring to
actions and processes, including main verbs like draw, provide, differ, and go” (Jurafsky & Martin, 2000, p. 4). The third open class, adjective, semantically
“includes many terms that describe properties or qualities” (p. 4). The examples are sufficient,happy,changeable,round (Greenbaum & Quirk, 1990, p. 16). The final open class form, adverb, “has semantically may be solely that each of these
words can be viewed as modifying something (often verbs, hence the name
adverb, but also other adverbs and entire verb phrases)” (Jurafsky & Martin, 2000, p. 5). The examples of adverbs aresufficiently,really,afterwards,yet(Greenbaum & Quirk, 1990, p. 16).
2. Word Stress
a. The Nature of Word Stress
Word stress is regarded as one of some pronunciation aspects, as
Kenworthy (1987, p. 9) states that several aspects of pronunciation are sounds,
combination of sounds, linkage of sounds, word stress, rhythm, weak forms,
sentence stress, and intonation. Another linguist, Meyer (2009), proposes that the
analysis of English speech sounds is focused on segmental and suprasegmental
features (p. 196). In this case, the analysis of speech segments “are focused on the
individual segments – syllables, words, phrases, and clauses– and to the features
of sound that describe these units, specifically stress and intonation” (Meyer, 2009,
p. 208). Therefore, word stress itself is included as the part of suprasegmental
When we talk about stress, generally we talk about prominence or
emphasis, as stated by Mateescu (2003):
“It would be difficult maybe even for a specialist to give a very accurate definition of stress, but even a schoolchild will be intuitively aware that when we talk about stress in a word or in more complex structures we talk in fact about prominence, or emphasis, that is parts of that word or structures are perceived as having a higher degree of prominence in comparison to the others.” (p. 2)
Daniel (1994) supports the statement above, stating that stress is “usually
perceived as greater loudness by the listener, with which one part of the word or
longer utterance is distinguished from the other parts” (p. 2). Moreover, “stress in
English words is relatively easy to perceive: stressed syllables are perceived as
‘more prominent’, or louder, or longer, or ‘more complex’, or produced with more
apparent effort, than the less stressed or unstressed syllables that might lie
adjacent to them” (McCully, 2009, p. 67).
We may say that stressed syllables are recognized as stressed since they are
more prominent than the unstressed syllables, as Jones (1958, p. 141) states that
“syllables which are pronounced more forcibly than neighboring syllables are
generally said to bestressed.” In addition, “stress involves making vowels longer and louder” (Avery & Ehrlich, 1992, p. 63). Thus, to put stress on a syllable in a
surrounding syllables and to make it stand out among them” (Prator & Robinett,
1972, p. 16).
On the other hand, Kenworthy (2000, p. 51) provides four features
involved in the perception of prominence. The first feature is loudness, when the stressed syllables are louder than unstressed ones; the second feature is length, when the vowel in a syllable is held longer than the others; the third feature is
pitch, when there is a change of speed, either faster which results in a higher pitch or slower which results in a lower pitch or some fluctuation in speed; and the last
one isquality, when a stressed syllable has a vowel that differs in quality from the other syllables. To sum up, there are four important features that produce
prominence, namely loudness, length, pitch, and quality.
b. The Importance of Word Stress
It is important to assign the right stress pattern, as Prator & Robinett (1972,
p. 16) saythat stress is “the key to the pronunciation of an English word, and the
location of the accent should always be learned with the word.”Moreover, Prator
& Robinett (1972, p. 16) argue that if the wrong syllable is stressed, “it may be
quite impossible for anyone listening to understand what you are trying to say.”In
other words, it could make the communication unsuccessful.
Furthermore, “an appropriate stress and rhythmic pattern is more
important for intelligibility than the correct pronunciation of isolated segments
and, in fact, stress and rhythm determine the pronunciation of segments in English”
(Sabater, 1991, p. 145). Sabater (1991, pp. 145-146) further explains that an
unintelligible not only because the misplaced main stress distorts the shape of the
word, but also because there is no unstressing of the other syllables with the
consequent phonetic reductions.”
Accordingly, Celce-Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin (1996, p. 1) claim that
“successful communication cannot take place without correct pronunciation.” In
other words, the correct pronunciation can shape the speaker’s success.
Conversely, the speaker’s poor pronunciation could make the listeners get the
wrong meaning and the communication can be unsuccessful. Therefore, the
pronunciation from the speaker and the recognition from the listener have great
influences on the quality of communication for both of the parties.
3. Word Stress Rules
a. Placement of Stress in Words
Word stress tends to happen when an English word has more than one
syllable (Kenworthy, p. 10, 1987). Gilbert (2008) says that “a syllable is most
simply explained as something with a vowel sound at its center” (p. 4). Poldauf
(1984, p. 13) also says that “a monosyllable cannot have word-stress.” Another
linguist also claims that “as soon as an utterance is longer than a single syllable,
the syllables are arranged in rhythmic patterns comprising a succession of
strong-weak-strong-weak, etc; this is true whether the polysyllabic stretch is a sentence, a
phrase or a single word” (Quirk et al., 1972, p. 1036). Therefore, only two
-syllable words and polysyllabic words−“words of three or more syllables” (James,
Zapata (2009) notes that there are two levels of word stress, namely
primary stress and secondary stress (p. 1). The syllable that is pronounced with
the greatest emphasis in a word receives the primary stress, while the syllable that
is pronounced with a little less emphasis than the one which has the primary stress
receives the secondary stress (Zapata, 2009, p. 1). For example, the monosyllabic
words ‘book’ and ‘speak’ have primary stress; the syllables pa-and -causeof the dissyllabic words ‘paper’ and ‘because’ have primary stress; the syllables -ten-in the word ‘attention’, -a- in the word ‘pronunciation’ and sec- in the word ‘secondary’ (which are polysyllabic words) have primary stress, while the
syllables-aryand-nun-have secondary stress (Zapata, 2009, p. 1).
The placement of primary stress is unpredictable because it may fall to any
syllable of a word, as Daniel (1994, p. 3) states that:
Although the stresses are normally in a fixed position in a word, their position is unpredictable in the sense that there is no single position where the primary stress of the word can be expected to fall in English. For example, to count from left to right, it may fall on the: 1st syllable:'family 4th syllable:famili'arity 2nd syllable:fa'miliar 5th syllable:nationali'zation 3rd syllable:natio'nality 6th syllable:industriali'zation
Urbanczyk & Eady (1989, p. 28) claim that the main or primary stress
often occurs on the antepenultimate (3rd to last) syllables and penultimate (2nd to last) syllable.
b. Patterns of Word Stress
In the dictionary, we will find the phonetic transcription of the words since
the sounds of English are often displayed in the form of phonetic transcription
alphabet developed by the International Phonetic Association to provide suitable
symbols for the sounds of any language” (McArthur, 1992, p. 523). In this case,
“linguists use a set of symbols from the phonetic alphabet, an alphabet in which
each symbol corresponds to one (andonly one) sound” (Meyer, 2009 p. 196). The
phonetic alphabet (or usually called phonetic transcription) will tell people the
pronunciation of words, while the mere spelling of words cannot do so. The
phonetic transcription is also completed with the stress mark which is intended to
inform us about the placement of the stress.
Prator & Robinett (1972, p. 18) claim that there are no exact rules to
determine the stressed syllable in a word since we will many times need to turn to
the dictionary unless we hear the word spoken by someone who is familiar with it.
Syafei (1988, p. 23) similarly states that “there is no way of knowing in advance
where the different stress levels will occur in English speech.” Moreover, Allen
(1954, p. 173) states that “the accentuation of long words is very irregular in
English.” Therefore, there is no fixed rule about word stress. However, “certain
observations can be of help” (Syafei, 1988, p. 24). In other words, we are still able
to recognize the stress pattern although those patterns are only applicable to
majority of words since there are some possible rule exceptions. The lists below
show the general patterns of word stress that may help recognizing word stress
1) Stress and Part of Speech
“A large group of words, which may be used either as nouns or
(Prator & Robinett, 1972, p. 18). Prator & Robinett (1972, p. 18) note that
the noun is stressed on the first syllable and the verb on the second, e.g.
the word conduct is pronounced [ˈkɒndʌkt] as a noun and pronounced [kənˈdʌkt] as a verb, the wordexportis pronounced [ˈekspɔːt] as a noun and pronounced [ɪkˈspɔːt] as a verb, the wordsurveyis pronounced [ˈsɜːveɪ] as a noun and pronounced [səˈveɪ] as a verb, and many other examples.
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the word class or part of
speech of the stressed words.
On the other hand, Gimson (1962, p. 229) notes that “several
disyllables do not conform to the general noun/verb accentual pattern
distinction or exhibit instability”, e.g. comment [ˈkɒment] for both noun and verb, contact [ˈkɒntækt] (noun) and [ˈkɒntækt], [kɒnˈtækt], or [kənˈtækt] (verb),detail[ˈdiːteɪl] (noun) and [ˈdiːteɪl] or [diːˈteɪl] (verb), etc. Therefore, the rule is sometimes unpredictable. Moreover, Gimson (1962,
p. 230) also states that “words containing more than two syllables also
exhibit distinctive accentual patterns”, e.g.attribute(noun:ˈætrɪbjuːt, verb: əˈtrɪbjuːt), interchange (noun: ˈɪntətʃeɪndʒ, verb: ˌɪntəˈtʃeɪndʒ), invalid (noun:ˈɪnvəlɪd, adjective:ɪnˈvælɪd, verb:ˈɪnvəlɪd), etc.
2) Stress and Derivation
Generally, when a suffix is added to a word, the new form is
Prator & Robinett, 1972, p. 19). Words that end in -tion, -sion, -ic, -ical, -ity, and -graphy almost always have primary stress on the syllable preceding the ending (Prator & Robinett, 1972, p. 19), e.g. production [prəˈdʌkʃn], decision [dɪˈsɪʒn], scientific [ˌsaɪənˈtɪfɪk], biological [ˌbaɪəˈlɒdʒɪkl], ability [əˈbɪləti], photography [fəˈtɒɡrəfi] (Syafei, 1988, p. 26). Therefore, the addition of one of those suffixes may result in a shift of
accent or stress, e.g. contribute [kənˈtrɪbjuːt], contribution [ˌkɒntrɪˈbjuːʃn]; economy[ɪˈkɒnəmi],economic[ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk]; biology[baɪˈɒlədʒi],biological [ˌbaɪəˈlɒdʒɪkl]; public [ˈpʌblɪk], publicity [pʌbˈlɪsəti] (Prator & Robinett, 1972, p. 19).
Other linguists, Delahunty & Garvey (2003), give some general
rules about how suffixes influence the stress placement:
a) Some suffixes do not affect stress placement. These include the
syllabic inflections -er, -est, -es [əz], -ed [əd], and the derivational suffixes -ly and -ite: small/smaller, tall/tallest, horse/horses, pat/patted, wife/wifely, Trotsky/Trotskyite,
Ludd/Luddite (p. 5).
b) A few suffixes take the word’s main stress: bombardier,
engineer, Mouseketeer, musketeer, racketeer, privateer,
amputee, devotee, divorcee, employee, refugee(p. 5).
c) However, in most cases the addition of a suffix forces the stress
to move, such as: democrat – democratic – democracy,
sympathetic, phoneme–phonemic, photograph–photographic
–photography, telephone–telephonic–telephony (p. 6).
d) The main stress in adjectives formed with the suffix -ic (e.g., optic, basic, morphemic, electric) falls on the syllable immediately before that suffix, the penultimate syllable. The
main stress in nouns formed with the suffix -y (e.g., misogyny, phylogeny,ontogeny) is on the third syllable from the end, that is, on the antepenultimate syllable. The suffix -tion, which creates abstract nouns, also requires that the main stress be on
the syllable immediately before it. Notice that the form of the
suffix will ensure that that syllable is heavy. i.e.option, opinion,
fragmentation, fermentation, actuation (p. 6).
e) Nouns and adjectives formed with the suffix -ianalso generally take their main stress on the syllable immediately before the
suffix, on their antepenults: simian, agrarian, grammarian,
latitudinarian, librarian (p. 6).
f) Nouns formed with the suffix -ity take their stress on the antepenultimate syllable, which, because the suffix has two
syllables, is the syllable immediately before it. Note that the
first syllable of the suffix is light and so cannot be stressed. i.e.
probity, necessity, curiosity, sanctity, electricity, adiposity (p.
g) Words ending in -ate and -ize take their main stress on the second syllable before the suffix, i.e., the antepenultimate,
when there are enough syllables: amputate, isolate, insulate,
congratulate, coagulate, regulate, hydrogenize, sympathize,
weatherize (p. 7).
h) Where only one syllable precedes the suffix, it receives main
stress: fixate, dictate (p. 7).
i) Nouns ending in -oid and -ute take their main stress on the syllable immediately before the suffix in one syllable stems,
and on the second syllable before the suffix in stems of two
syllables:asteroid, planetoid, polaroid, factoid tribute, attribute
Delahunty & Garvey (2003, p. 9) also give some rules about how
prefixes can influence the stress placement:
a) Mostly, prefixes do not affect stress placement, but only mostly.
The prefixes a- as in awake, be- as in befriend and en- as in enclose never take stress. Many words which begin with what appears to be a prefix (but which probably isn’t now a separate
morpheme) also fit this pattern: alive, begin, confer, confront,
forget, pretend, remove, withhold.
than one syllable: antimatter, pseudo-scientist. Some of these words may be compounds, which normally take primary stress
on their first element.
3) Stress and Compound Words
“A compound is formed when two or more words behave as a
single word” (Denham & Lobeck, 2010, p. 197). Compound nouns
generally have a primary stress on the first element (Quirk, Greenbaum,
Leech, & Svartvik, 1972, p. 1039; Sabater, 1991, p. 149). Meanwhile,
noun phrases are different since they “have the main stress on the most
important element, the noun” (Sabater, 1991, p. 149). To take an example,
contrast here the compound blackbird with the noun phrase black bird: "That sounds like a 'blackbird [compound]” and “A carrion crow is a completely black 'bird [noun phrase]” (Daniel, 1994, p. 5). In the first sentence,blackbirdrefers to a particular species of bird; in the second one, black bird refers to a bird that is black, a bird of any possible species (Denham & Lobeck, 2010, p. 197).
“The difference between compounds, such as a 'loudspeaker (sound amplifier), and noun phrases, a loud 'speaker (a person who talks loud), is also indicated by stress alone” (Sabater, 1991, p. 149). The
compound has the primary stress on the first element, while the noun
phrase has the primary stress on the second element.
When a compound is made part of another compound, the primary
for example: 'light house but 'lighthouse-keeper (Quirk et al, 1972, p. 1039).
A smaller number of compounds have the primary stress on the
final component (Quirk et al, 1972, p. 1039; Daniel, 1994, p. 6). “Many of
these compounds are not nouns, but verbs (back-'fire), adverbs
(hence'forth), and especially adjectives (knee-'deep, flat-’footed)” (Quirk et
al, 1972, p. 1039).
In other case, “the stress often shifts from the second to the first
element when the compound is being used attributively in a noun phrase”
(Quirk et al, 1972, p. 1039). An example taken from Quirk et al (1972, p.
1039)is “the room is down'stairs” but “a 'downstairs 'room.”
4. Errors in Word Stress
As stated in Chapter 1, error and mistake are different. Both of them are natural parts of the learning process. At first glance, they seem interchangeable,
but in fact they are quite different from each other especially in the language
learning context. Ellis (1997, p. 17) says that “errors reflect gaps in a learner’s
knowledge; they occur because the learner does not know what is correct.
Mistakes reflect occasional lapses in performance; they occur because, in a
particular instance, the learner is unable to perform what he or she knows.”
Corder(1979, p. 168) similarly states that both terms are different since “an error
Dulay (1982, p. 138) claims that error is an inevitable part of learning and
people cannot learn language without first committing errors systematically.
Similarly, Prator & Robinett (1972, p. 17) say that “persons who learn English as
a second language often make the mistake of pronouncing unstressed vowels the
way they are spelled.” Corder (1979, p. 259) also says that errors happen when
“the learners have not yet internalized the formation rules of the second language.”
Thus, it is considered challenging for second language learners including
Indonesian learners to produce English word stress. Moreover, there is no word
stress in Indonesian language.
Some researchers have attempted to discuss errors on word stress. Chi
(2000) attempts to identify and describe the errors that Vietnamese students often
make. Therefore, the researcher records the students’ reading aloud at different
levels in order to collect the data for this study. As a result, it is found that stress
errors have become a real problem to concern. There are two types of word stress
errors which are found from this research, namely:
a. Primary and/or secondary stress falls on the wrong syllable.
b. All of the syllables are stressed.
Meanwhile, Kenyar (2009) in her study investigates the mastery of nouns
stress placement among English Language Education Study Program’s Second
Semester students. Furthermore, the researcher recordsthe subjects’ speech when
all of them are doing their final test at class. The researcher transfers the recorded
speech into the computer and transcribes the speech into written text, and
attempts to obtain data about how well the students master the stress placement of
nouns and also what errors the students make toward the nouns. Consequently,
related to the word stress error, the researcher finds that there are three types of
word stress errors, they are:
a. Misplacing the word stress or the stress falls on the wrong syllable, e.g.
in the word powder, the speaker put the stress on the second syllable, while the appropriate stress is should be on the first syllable.
b. Double-stressing the words that actually only have one stressed
syllable, e.g. in the student’s production in the wordfamily, the student double-stressed the word by putting the stress on the second and the
third syllable, while the word is supposed to have a single stress.
c. Putting equal stress on all the syllables of the word, e.g. the speaker
put equal stress on all three syllables of the wordaccident.
The main difference between those research findings above is only on the
second point of Kenyar’s theory which states that the word which only has one
stressed syllable is double-stressed. Both theories state that the types of word
stress errors are misplacing the word stress and stressing all the syllables of the
B. Theoretical Framework
In this section, several theories are summarized. Firstly, the theories used
are related to the English word stress placement in order to help indicate the stress
has more than one syllable” (Kenworthy, 1987, p. 10). Therefore, the words
which are stressed have more than one syllable. The theories about patterns of
word stress explained above are also used because they are relevant to this
research. As stated by Prator & Robinett (1972), we can indicate the noun-verb
word pairs. However, Gimson (1962) notes that “several disyllables do not
conform to the general noun/verb accentual pattern distinction or exhibit
instability” (p. 229) and “words containing more than two syllables also exhibit
distinctive accentual patterns” (p. 230). The theory proposed by Delahunty &
Garvey (2003) to indicate how derivation can influence word stress is also applied.
The next theory is stress on compounds. Compound nouns generally have a
primary stress on the first element (Quirk & Greenbaum, 1972, p. 1039). A
smaller number of compounds have the primary stress on the final component and
many of these compounds are not nouns, but verbs, adverbs, and especially
adjectives (Quirk & Greenbaum, 1972, p. 1039). Since there are many theories
about word stress placement, the writer also consults the dictionary to help
analyze the data.
Afterwards, the writer also uses theories which are related to the word
stress errors. The theories used are research findings proposed by Chi (2000) and
Kenyar (2009). They show that the types of word stress errors are firstly
misplacing the word stress and secondly stressing all the syllables of the word.
This study will use these research findings as the guidance to find out the types of
25 CHAPTER III
This chapter is divided into six sections, namely: the research method,
research setting, research subjects, instruments and data gathering technique, data
analysis technique, and research procedure. Each section is described to give a
clear picture or description about how this research is conducted.
A. Research Method
This study is basically qualitative research. Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh
(2002, p. 22) claim that this kind of research “focuses on understanding social
phenomena from the perspective of human participants in the study.” Ary et al.
(2002, p. 22) also say that the data are collected in natural settings and it aims at
generating theory rather than testing theory. The goal of qualitative research is “a
holistic picture and depth of understanding, rather than a numeric analysis of data”
(Ary et al., 2002, p. 24). Therefore, it usually uses a narrative description and
doesn’t use statistical analysis of numeric data.
In this study, the writer employs content or document analysis as the
research method. Content analysis is defined as “a technique that enables writers
to study human behavior in an indirect way, through an analysis of their
communications” (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2008, p. 472). The types of
communications that can be used in this method are textbooks, essays,
advertisements, pictures, and other documents (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2008, p. 472).
Meanwhile, the kinds of communications used in this research are the video and
the play performance script ofThe Good Woman of Setzuan.
This research method is used because it is the best and the most
appropriate one since the researcher uses a certain type of document, which is the
play performance video. Moreover, this content analysis method is also
beneficially employed. As noted by Fraenkel & Wallen (2008), content analysis is
unobstrusive since the presence of the writer does not influence the data which is
analyzed (p. 483).
B. Research Setting
The writer uses the video of the play performance titledThe Good Woman of Setzuan. The play performance itself was conducted on November 30th, 2010 and it was recorded by the multimedia team. The setting of the play performance
is in Sanata Dharma University, which is located at Jl. Gejayan, Mrican, Tromol
Pos 29, Yogyakarta. The data collection itself starts in the middle of even
semester, which is on March 2012.
C. Research Subjects
The subjects of this research are the students of English Language
Education Study Program of Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta. All of the
study English and their major scope is English education, so they are expected to
be English teachers after they graduate.
The total number of the students in the play performance class is 47.
However, not all of them performed in the play, since there were some students
who participated in the backstage jobs. So, there are 29 players in the play
performance itself. The writer takes the whole performers of the play performance
as the participants of this research.
D. Instruments and Data Gathering Technique
The instrument used to elicit data in this study is an observation table. The
table consists of some columns. The first column is the numbering. The second
one is the list of words. The third column isthe transcription of the students’ word
stress production. The fourth column is the correct stress based on the dictionary.
The last one is frequency of occurrences. This table was used by the writer when
she gathered the data. The form of the table used is as follows:
Table 3.1 Observation of Word Stress Error
No. Words List
To gather the data, the writer listened carefully to how the students stressed
performance was also available. In order to make the data collection easier, the
writer read the script of the play performance while listening to the dialogue
spoken by the students in the video.
The writer also used some word stress pattern theories presented in
Chapter 2 to help finding the incorrect word stress. Besides, how the students
stressed the words was compared to the phonetic transcription in Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (2008) and the online version of the Oxford Advanced
Learner’s Dictionary. The online version of the dictionary was used because it
was free charge and easy to access. Moreover, the website was always updated
and the phonetic transcription could be copied directly using the computer. As a
result, the stress transcription could be provided in this study. By comparing the
students’ oral production to the transcription in the dictionary, the writer could
find the data of incorrect word stress from the play performance. After finding the
lists of incorrectly stressed words, the writer transcribed the word stress that the
students produced by listening carefully to the students’ oral production. The
transcriptions of the word stress were put into the observation table above. The
complete contens of the table would also be presented in Appendix 1.
E. Data Analysis Technique
To make the data analysis easier, the writer classified the data based on
some categories. The writer found that there were five major categories which had
incorrect stress, namely: nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and compounds.
stress on the syllables of the words. It was done by noting the stress which was
put on the word’s syllables; whether the stress was put on the first syllable,
antepenultimate syllable, penultimate syllable, last syllable, or put on more than
one syllables. How the students placed the stress incorrectly was observed by the
writer in order to analyze the data.
F. Research Procedure
This research was done through several steps. The very first step was the
instrument preparation to obtain the data. In this step, the writer prepared the
video and the script of the play performanceThe Good Woman of Setzuanin order to collect and note the students’ oral production of word stress.
The second step was listening carefully to the students’ pronunciation in
the play performance while checking the play performance’s script in order to
make the process easier.
The third step was data collection. The data collection was done by
searching the incorrect word stress by referencing to the related literature or
theories presented in Chapter 2. Besides that, the writer noted the students’ stress
in the word level and compared the stress to the transcription in the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (2008) and the online version of Oxford Advanced
Learner’s Dictionary in order to determine whether the word has incorrect word
The fourth step was data analysis. In this step, the writer classified the data
incorrectly placed the stress on the syllables of a word. Afterwards, the writer
31 CHAPTER IV
RESEARCH RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter consists of two major sections, namely the presentation and
the discussion. The first section deals with the data gathered on this study. On the
other hand, the second section describes the answer of the research problems,
which are firstly about the types of word stress errors produced by the students
and secondly about some ways to overcome the word stress errors.
A. Research Results
As presented in Chapter 3, the writer obtained the data by listening
carefully to the dialogue spoken by the students in the play performance The Good Woman of Setzuan. Afterwards, the writer identified the inappropriate or incorrect word stresses which appeared in the play performance using some
theories and dictionaries as the guidance to collect the data. After finding the data,
she classified the words based on the word categories and also the stress
placement. Then, the writer transcribed the word stresses produced by the students.
The data collected was analyzed in order to answer the two research problems.
Based on the data gathered in this study, the total numbers of words which
have wrong stresses are 77 words with 105 total occurrences. It is also found that
there are five word categories which are incorrectly stressed, namely noun, verb,
adjective, adverb, and compound. Nouns have the highest rank of incorrect stress
fifteen occurrences, and afterwards adverbs and compounds with respectively
The researcher summarizes all the results into a table. The table below has
the list of word classes, the occurrences of each type of errors, and also the total
occurrences of the errors.
Table 4.1 Occurrences of Word Stress Errors
Types of Error Total
of Error Misplaced Word
1. noun 53 9 62
2. adjective 19 3 22
3. verb 14 1 15
4. adverb 3 0 3
5. compound 2 1 3
Total 91 14 105
From the data analysis, the researcher finds that the most common type of
error produced by the students is misplaced word stress. As seen in the table
above, this type of error is produced 91 times. The words produced are mostly
nouns with 53 occurrences and followed by adjectives with nineteen occurrences,
verbs with fourteen occurrences, adverbs with three occurrences, and the last is
compounds with two occurrences. Another type of error, unnecessary word stress,
occurs fourteen times. Nouns also have the highest rank with nine occurrences,
followed by adjectives with three occurrences, and finally a compound and a verb
Since this study investigates word stress errors, all the words with
incorrect word stress in this study do not have the frequency of right occurrences.
In other words, the analysis of the data is focused on the errors only.
This section covers the discussion of the result findings, answering the
research questions which are stated on this study. The first part of the discussion
discusses the types of word stress errors which are produced by the students on
their oral production. Meanwhile, the second part is aimed to find out some ways
to overcome the word stress errors, which are helpful for the learners. The
answers were obtained by analyzing the data of the research.
1. The Types of Word Stress Errors Produced by the Students
In order to answer the first research question, the researcher attempted to
find out the types of word stress errors produced by the students. It was done by
noticing the stress position on the words which were wrongly stressed by the
students. From the data collection, it was found that there were two types of word
stress errors, namely misplaced word stress and unnecessary word stress.
Based on the research findings done by Chi (2000) and Kenyar (2009)
presented in Chapter 2, the type of word stress error which also occurs in this
study is misplaced word stress, which means that the primary stress falls on the
wrong syllable. Another finding stating that “all the syllables are stressed” does
not always occur in this study because the speakers tend to produce unnecessary
than one primary stress including the correct stressed syllable so that the stress is
unecessary. Therefore, in the second type of error, either all of the syllables of the
word are stressed or more than one syllable of the word is stressed. The details
will be discussed as follows:
a. Misplaced Word Stress
This type of error shows that the students placed the stress on the
wrong syllable. The researcher finds that the words produced are mostly
nouns, followed by adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and finally compounds.
For the disyllabic words such as consent, machine, police, the speakers misplaced the stress by putting the stress on the first
syllable, i.e. ˈconsent, ˈmachine, ˈpolice, which should be on the
last syllable, namely, conˈsent, maˈchine, poˈlice.
For the disyllabic words contract, escort, markets, secret, uproar, and worries, the speakers misplaced the stress by putting the stress on the last syllables, i.e. conˈtract, esˈcort, marˈkets,
seˈcret, upˈroar, worˈries. Those words should be stressed on the
first syllables, i.e. ˈcontract, ˈescort, ˈmarkets, ˈsecret, ˈuproar,
For the polysyllabic words committee, desire, idea, intention,policeman,position,possessions,reduction,tobacco, the speakers wrongly put the stress on the first syllable, i.e.ˈcommittee,
ˈreduction, while all of those words must receive penultimate stress,
i.e. comˈmittee, deˈsire, iˈdea, inˈtention, poˈliceman, poˈsition,
The speakers misplaced the stress of the words
exclamations,resolution, and understandingon the second syllable, i.e. exˈclamations, reˈsolution, unˈderstanding; and the word
conundrum on the last syllable, i.e. conunˈdrum, while the words also must receive penultimate stress, i.e. exclaˈmations, resoˈlution,
The polysyllabic words century and usury are wrongly stressed on the second syllables, i.e. cenˈtury, uˈsury; the word
multitude on the last syllable, i.e. multiˈtude; while all the words should be stressed on the first syllable, namely, ˈcentury, ˈusury,
The speakers also misplaced the stress of the words
opportunity and sensuality on the first syllable, e.g. ˈopportunity,
ˈsensuality, while they have antepenultimate stress, namely,
For the disyllabic worddiscreet, the speakers misplaced the stress by putting it on the first syllable, i.e. ˈdiscreet, while the
For other disyllabic words such as decent, honoured, punished, the speakers misplaced the stress by putting it on the last syllable, i.e. deˈcent, hoˈnoured, puˈnished, while the words have
first-syllable stresses, namely,ˈdecent,ˈhonoured,ˈpunished.
The speakers misplaced the stress of polysyllabic words
heroic, included, restricted, and transparent on the first syllable, i.e. ˈheroic, ˈincluded, ˈrestricted, ˈtransparent, while they must
receive penultimate stress, i.e. heˈroic, inˈcluded, resˈtricted,
The stresses of the wordscharitable, favourable,intimate, miserable, necessary, imminent are misplaced on the penultimate syllable, i.e. chariˈtable, favouˈrable, inˈtimate, miseˈrable,
neceˈssary, imˈminent, while they should be stressed on the first
syllables, i.e. ˈcharitable, ˈfavourable, ˈintimate, ˈmiserable,
The words considerate, pathological, unlimited are misplaced on the first syllable, e.g. ˈconsiderate, ˈpathological,
ˈunlimited; the word unfortunate on the last syllable, e.g. unfortuˈnate; while all those words should receive antepenultimate
stress, namely, conˈsiderate, pathoˈlogical, unˈlimited, unˈfortunate.
The speakers misplaced the stress of disyllabic words
suspecton the first syllable, i.e. ˈconceal, ˈexchange,ˈexist,ˈoccur,
ˈprefer, ˈpresent, ˈreplied, while the words must be stressed on the
last syllable, namely, conˈceal, exˈchange, eˈxist, ocˈcur, preˈfer,
The stresses of the polysyllabic words committed and continue are misplaced on the first syllable, i.e. ˈcommitted,
ˈcontinue, while the words should be stressed on the penultimate
syllable, namely, comˈmitted, conˈtinue.
The polysyllabic words disappeared,intervene are stressed on the first syllable, i.e.ˈdisappeared,ˈintervene, while they should
be stressed on the last syllable, i.e. disapˈpeared, interˈvene.
The polysyllabic word recognize is stressed on the last syllable, i.e. recogˈnize, while the word should be stressed on the
first syllable, i.e.ˈrecognize.
The speaker misplaced the stress of disyllabic word
somehow on the first syllable, i.e. ˈsomehow, while it should be stressed on the last syllable, i.e. someˈhow.
The stress of the polysyllabic word naturally is misplaced on the last syllable, i.e. naturalˈly, while the word should be
stressed on the first syllable, i.e. ˈnaturally. Another polysyllabic
i.e. unˈobtrusively, while it should receive antepenultimate stress,
The stresses of the compounds background and backside are misplaced on the last syllable, i.e. backˈground, backˈside,
while they must be stressed on the first syllables, namely,
b. Unnecessary Word Stress
In unnecessary word stress error, the students tend to put the stress
on more than one syllable, including the correct stress, so that the word
sounds like it has more than one primary stress. The researcher finds that
the unnecessary word stresses are mostly nouns, then followed by
adjectives, and finally a verb and a compound with the same number of
The speaker wrongly put the stress on all the syllables for
the disyllabic word distress, i.e.ˈdiˈstress, while the word should be
stressed only on the last syllable, i.e. diˈstress.
All the syllables of the disyllabic word colleague are also incorrectly stressed by the speaker, i.e. ˈcolˈleague, while the word
should be stressed only on the first syllable, i.e.ˈcolleague.
The speakers also wrongly put the stress on all the syllables
ˈwiˈdoˈwer, while all those words should be stressed only on their
first syllables, i.e.ˈincident,ˈwidower.
The polysyllabic words citizen and negligence also should be stressed only on their first syllables, i.e. ˈnegligence. However,
the speakers wrongly put the stress on the first syllable and on the
last syllable of those words, i.e.ˈcitiˈzen,ˈnegliˈgence.
Next, the polysyllabic word conclusion is incorrectly stressed on all syllables, i.e. ˈconˈcluˈsion, while the word should
receive penultimate stress, i.e. conˈclusion.
The word authorities is wrongly stressed on the antepenultimate and the last syllables, i.e. auˈthoriˈties, and the
word “contributor” is wrongly stressed on the first and
antepenultimate syllables, e.g. ˈconˈtributor, while all those words
should be stressed only on their antepenultimate syllables, namely,
The wordsinterestedandnegligentare wrongly stressed on the first and last syllables, i.e. ˈinteresˈted, ˈnegliˈgent, while they
should be stressed only on their first syllables, ˈinterested,
The speaker wrongly puts the stress on all the syllables of
the word serious, i.e. ˈseˈriˈous, while the word should be stressed