COMMON ALGORITHMS OF PRIMARY STRESS PLACEMENT ON POLYSYLLABIC WORDS

Metin Yurtbaşı

Abstract


Turkish students tend to make considerable stress placement errors when pronouncing English polysyllabic words because of the interference of the traditional word stress patterns of their mother tongue. They usually misplace stresses in their utterance, both either as a result of their native pronunciation habits or their lack of stress-placing knowledge in the target language. Experience has clearly shown that one of the most visible areas of weakness in Turkish students learning English is stress placement. This is the main problem to be explored and resolved in this research with an “algorithm of suffixes”. The learners of English in Turkey are very much in need of practising such algorithm listings and going through electronic dictionaries. The study patterns or algorithms in this research involve in at least four-syllabled words with one prominent primarily stressed syllable. Students are first given a pretest to see how they naturally fare in English rhythm to expose their wrongly-misplaced stress patterns, their stress mobility concept and their fossilized erratic stressing habits. In the pretest, 25 questions are downloaded via the audacity program given to them within 5 second-intervals three times by the computer. Those freshmen non-initiated to the English stress patterns clearly present in this test a total lack of English stress pattern marked by a general irregularity in their utterance. Then they are briefed on general characteristics of English stress pattern of such polysyllabic words based on their grammatical category within an algorithm of some general suffix patterns. After a 3 hour intensive stress placement drill, a post-test of fresh 25 words is administrated to them.  This post-test determines the rate of students’ improvement in their pronunciation and proves the efficiency of the algorithm of suffixes introduced.

Keywords: Prımary Stress Placement, Common Algorıthms


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