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A Corpus-Based, Pilot Study of Lexical Stress Variation in American English

Alice Henderson1

Université de Savoie1

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Research in Language. Volume 8, Issue , Pages 1–15, ISSN (Online) 2083-4616, ISSN (Print) 1731-7533, DOI: 10.2478/v10015-010-0002-9, October 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-10-19

A Corpus-Based, Pilot Study of Lexical Stress Variation in American English

Phonological free variation describes the phenomenon of there being more than one pronunciation for a word without any change in meaning (e.g. because, schedule, vehicle). The term also applies to words that exhibit different stress patterns (e.g. academic, resources, comparable) with no change in meaning or grammatical category. A corpus-based analysis of free variation is a useful tool for testing the validity of surveys of speakers' pronunciation preferences for certain variants. The current paper presents the results of a corpus-based pilot study of American English, in an attempt to replicate Mompéan's 2009 study of British English.

Keywords: phonological free variation; corpus; American English

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