Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

Research in Language

The Journal of University of Lodz

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.27

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.153
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.230

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
In This Section

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

Alice Henderson
  • Université de Savoie
Published Online: 2010-10-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10015-010-0002-9

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

  • Anthony, L. 2007. ANTConc (Version 3.2.1) [Computer Program]. Retrieved June 2007, from http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/software.html

  • AudaCity. 2009. (Version 1.2) [Software]. Available from: http://www.audacity.sourceforge.net

  • Boersma, P. and D. Weenink. 2008. Praat: doing phonetics by computer, (Version 4) [Computer program]. Retrieved January 20, 2008, from http://www.praat.org/

  • Celce-Murcia, M, D. M. Brinton and J. M. Goodwin. 1997/2007. Teaching pronunciation: A reference for teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Cruttenden, A. 2001. Gimson's pronunciation of English (6th edn). London: Arnold.

  • Free Dictionary. [Website]. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/squishy

  • McEnery, A. and A. Wilson. 2001. Corpus linguistics (1st edn 1996). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

  • McEnery, A., R. Xiao and Y. Tono. 2006. Corpus-based language studies: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary. [Website] http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/audiofaq.htm

  • Mompéan, J. A. 2010. A corpus-based study of phonological free variation in English. In Henderson, A. J. English Pronunciation: Issues & Practices, Conference proceedings of EPIP I, June 3-5, Université de Savoie, Chambéry, France. Chambéry, France: Presses de l'Université de Savoie. (forthcoming).

  • NOVA ScienceNow. [Website]. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/

  • Shitara, Y. 1993. "A survey of American pronunciation preferences". Speech Hearing and Language 7, 201-232. Available at www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/shitara.pdf www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/shitara.pdf

  • TED. [Website]. http://www.ted.com

  • Temperley, D. 2009. Distributional Stress Regularity: A Corpus Study. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 38, 75-92. [Web of Science]

  • Trudgill, P. and J. Hannah. 2008. International English: A Guide to the varieties of Standard English. London: Hodder Education.

  • Voice of America. [Website]. http://www.manythings.org/voa/rss/

  • Wells, J. C. 2008. Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd edition, Harlow, England: Pearson-Longman. [Web of Science]

  • Wells, J. C. 1999. "British English pronunciation preferences: a changing scene". Journal of the International Phonetic Association 29 (1), 33-50.

About the article

Published Online: 2010-10-19

Published in Print: 2010-09-30

Citation Information: Research in Language, ISSN (Online) 2083-4616, ISSN (Print) 1731-7533, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10015-010-0002-9. Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in