Emphasis altering word meaning

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drbhoneydew
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Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby drbhoneydew » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:20 am UTC

Is there a name for a word which alters its meaning only by changing the syllabic emphasis? And does anyone have any other examples?

The only one I know of is attribute: I attRIBute that to it having some special ATTribUTE for which I do not know the name.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Interactive Civilian » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:42 am UTC

drbhoneydew wrote:Is there a name for a word which alters its meaning only by changing the syllabic emphasis? And does anyone have any other examples?

The only one I know of is attribute: I attRIBute that to it having some special ATTribUTE for which I do not know the name.

I don't know off the top of my head what they are called, but here are a few more:
- present
- reject
- content
- combat

Actually, here is a whole list of them:
http://www.yoursecondlanguage.com/resources/english.nouns.verbs.accented.shtml

However, that page doesn't give a name for them either. :?
I'm curious to know as well. :)
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Bobber » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:59 am UTC

Conquer/concur is spelled very differently, but pronunciation-wise it's only a small difference.

I can't really think of anything better.


Oh, oh, and apply. As in apple-like :D
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Justinlrb » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:00 pm UTC

record
program

Often in English a stress changes makes the difference between a noun and a verb.
I can't think what it's called right now. Maybe it'll hit me later.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Mystify » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:56 am UTC

According to the Lesser Oracle (wikipedia, who knows almost all), they are called Paronyms; but there are no examples of what you're looking for.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:31 am UTC

Mystify wrote:According to the Lesser Oracle (wikipedia, who knows almost all), they are called Paronyms; but there are no examples of what you're looking for.

M

Isn't the word "Paronym" what they're looking for?
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Robin S » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:39 am UTC

Justinlrb wrote:program
You pronounce that differently depending on whether it's a noun or verb?

Also, "paronym" is not the word you are looking for. Paronyms (in the second sense given in the Wikipedia article) are spelt or pronounced differently, whereas in this phenomenon only emphasis is changed. This is what you are looking for.

I seem to recall a previous thread discussing the same topic.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Dextrose » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:17 am UTC

Bobber wrote:Oh, oh, and apply. As in apple-like :D
Is that one syllable or two? Should it be appley? Would the two be pronounced differently? This is a whole can of worms, here, Bobber. Are you sure you want to get into this?

There's not a huge difference between analyse and analise....
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Justinlrb » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:16 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Post subject: Re: Emphasis altering word meaning Reply with quote
Justinlrb wrote:
program
You pronounce that differently depending on whether it's a noun or verb?


To be honest that has always been one of the more difficult ones for me to pick out. I've heard elsewhere that it is, but it's probably just wishful thinking. Strike program.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Bobber » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:57 am UTC

Dextrose wrote:
Bobber wrote:Oh, oh, and apply. As in apple-like :D
Is that one syllable or two? Should it be appley? Would the two be pronounced differently? This is a whole can of worms, here, Bobber. Are you sure you want to get into this?

There's not a huge difference between analyse and analise....


I will fight for my apply!
The word itself it apply, try saying it out loud.
It almost reminds you of eating an apple.
Also, people will get confused when you use it in writing because they think you mean applý and not ápply.
(Those thingies that I always incorrectly call apostrophes added for emphasis on, err, emphasis.)
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Dingbats » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:28 am UTC

Bobber wrote:(Those thingies that I always incorrectly call apostrophes added for emphasis on, err, emphasis.)

ReCORD vs REcord isn't emphasis, it's stress.

And APPly vs apPLY isn't an occurence of the same phenomenon, since they differ in more than just stress, being ["{pli] and [@"p_hlaI] respectively. That they're spelled the same is irrelevant when it comes to analysing the actual language.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Bobber » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:31 am UTC

Dingbats wrote:
Bobber wrote:(Those thingies that I always incorrectly call apostrophes added for emphasis on, err, emphasis.)

ReCORD vs REcord isn't emphasis, it's stress.

And APPly vs apPLY isn't an occurence of the same phenomenon, since they differ in more than just stress, being ["{pli] and [@"p_hlaI] respectively. That they're spelled the same is irrelevant when it comes to analysing the actual language.


Ah, okay, thanks for clarification.
I just read the thread title, and assumed that emphasis was the word I'm looking for.
English is my second language, so excuse me if I'm not sufficiently literate in linguistic related terms :)
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Justinlrb » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:11 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:
Dingbats wrote:
Bobber wrote:(Those thingies that I always incorrectly call apostrophes added for emphasis on, err, emphasis.)

ReCORD vs REcord isn't emphasis, it's stress.

And APPly vs apPLY isn't an occurence of the same phenomenon, since they differ in more than just stress, being ["{pli] and [@"p_hlaI] respectively. That they're spelled the same is irrelevant when it comes to analysing the actual language.


Ah, okay, thanks for clarification.
I just read the thread title, and assumed that emphasis was the word I'm looking for.
English is my second language, so excuse me if I'm not sufficiently literate in linguistic related terms :)


I think we all understood what you meant. Dingbats is correct though.
It is called stress, among other things, in the jargon, and sometimes it does go by the name emphasis.

Emphasis can also refer to the word you choose to stress in a sentence which, combined with intonation, can change the meaning of the sentence. Try YEAH right, and yeah RIGHT.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:19 pm UTC

Justinlrb wrote:
22/7 wrote:
Post subject: Re: Emphasis altering word meaning Reply with quote
Justinlrb wrote:
program
You pronounce that differently depending on whether it's a noun or verb?


To be honest that has always been one of the more difficult ones for me to pick out. I've heard elsewhere that it is, but it's probably just wishful thinking. Strike program.

I have no idea where that jumble of words came from, but I didn't say any of it.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Robin S » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

That is correct. It should have looked like this:
Justinlrb wrote:
Robin S wrote:
Justinlrb wrote:program

You pronounce that differently depending on whether it's a noun or verb?


To be honest that has always been one of the more difficult ones for me to pick out. I've heard elsewhere that it is, but it's probably just wishful thinking. Strike program.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Mystify » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:41 am UTC

Robin S wrote:Also, "paronym" is not the word you are looking for. Paronyms (in the second sense given in the Wikipedia article) are spelt or pronounced differently, whereas in this phenomenon only emphasis is changed.

My bad, I thought the shift in stress counted as a difference in pronunciation.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Dingbats » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:47 am UTC

Mystify wrote:
Robin S wrote:Also, "paronym" is not the word you are looking for. Paronyms (in the second sense given in the Wikipedia article) are spelt or pronounced differently, whereas in this phenomenon only emphasis is changed.

My bad, I thought the shift in stress counted as a difference in pronunciation.

...which I would think it does? The pronunciation is different if the stress is different. :roll:

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Robin S » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:18 am UTC

Technically yes, but phonetically the pronunciation remains the same, which excludes paronyms as can be discovered by looking at a decent explanation of what these are. As I mentioned above, the phenomenon mentioned in the original post is that of intial-stress derivation.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:but phonetically the pronunciation remains the same

Yes, but only phonetically. And since pronunciation isn't just to do with the phonemes you use, but also with their stress pattern, the pronunciation does change.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Dingbats » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Robin S wrote:but phonetically the pronunciation remains the same

Yes, but only phonetically. And since pronunciation isn't just to do with the phonemes you use, but also with their stress pattern, the pronunciation does change.

Not even phonetically. Stress is also phonetic.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Robin S » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

I recognize that. However, the phoneme stays the same, which is what is relevant to the original question.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Justinlrb » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:I recognize that. However, the phoneme stays the same, which is what is relevant to the original question.

Well, is schwa a different phoneme from a full vowel?

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:30 pm UTC

Yeah, I meant phonemically. But Justinlrb also has a good point, since generally destressed vowels in English actually are different phonemes than stressed ones, if not actually schwas.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Robin S » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

Wikipedia wrote:In human language, a phoneme is the smallest structural unit that distinguishes meaning. Phonemes are not the physical segments themselves, but, in theoretical terms, cognitive abstractions of them.

An example of a phoneme is the /t/ sound in the words tip, stand, water, and cat. (In transcription, phonemes are placed between slashes, as here.) These are conceived of as being the same sound, despite the fact that in each word they are pronounced somewhat differently; the difference may not even be audible to native speakers. That is, a phoneme may encompass several recognizably different speech sounds, called phones.
See also the article on allophones.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby amandafrench » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:16 am UTC


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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby steewi » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:09 am UTC

Stress is definitely a phoneme of sorts in English. It's simply an autosegmental phoneme, which gives it its own rules, of a sort.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Eugo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:27 am UTC

Dextrose wrote:There's not a huge difference between analyse and analise....


Neither of which should be confused with anal eyes.

Robin S wrote:This is what you are looking for.


Beg to differ. This covers only English noun/verb pairs. There are other languages where this occurs.

In Serb/Croat/Bosnian, there are homonyms where the meaning is divined from accent only:

kosa - with short ascending accent on o - hair (not a single hair, but all of what grows on one's scalp)
kosa - with short decending accent on o - scythe
kosa - with long decending accent on o - adj. fem. slanted, not vertical
kosa - with short decending accent on o - a hillside

There are only three ways to apply accent, and four meanings. Tough.

sedi - with short ascending accent on e - v. sits
sedi - with long ascending accent on e - adj. m. gray haired
sedi - with short descending accent on e - v. sit! (imperative 2nd person singular)
sedi - with long descending accent on e - v. grows gray-haired (present tense, 3rd person singular)

These are two toughest cases, often quoted as extreme, but there are others with just two or three meanings, depending on the accent. So... what's the word for these?

amandafrench wrote:What would you say to "heteronym"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteronym


I would say nice try, but no cigar. The term means just identical spelling, but different pronunciation in any manner. We are looking for difference in accent only, that would bring a change of meaning - and I didn't see any limitation to just English in the intention of the thread.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Fryie » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

Perhaps the word heteronym is ambiguous? For me "apple" and "pear" are heteronyms, because they both have a common hyperonym. What is called a heteronym, here, I would call a homograph.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby kurwamac » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:56 pm UTC

I prefer homograph as well, but it's also ambiguous, as it can refer to words spelt and pronounced the same, such as 'brace' in its various meanings as noun and verb, or words spelt the same but pronounced differently, as 'invalid' or 'read'. And of course it doesn't distinguish between variation in stress or phonemic differences.
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby zahlman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:31 pm UTC

How about words with a prefix where the usual meaning isn't the constructed one (e.g. "remark" vs. "re-mark")?
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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby shivasprogeny » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:04 am UTC

Produce is a common one.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby 4=5 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

I think the "program" on is only in england

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby BrainMagMo » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

What we're looking for are suprafixes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suprafix
Changes in stress or tone alone that cause changes in meaning. Applies in English and other languages.

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Re: Emphasis altering word meaning

Postby Baza210 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:08 pm UTC

Did you just say "doing"?
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