#The syllable as a prosodic unit. Word stress, its nature and functions. Linguistically relevant types of word stress.

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The syllable is widely recognized to be the smallest prosodic unit. It has no meaning of its own, but it is significant for constituting hierarchically higher prosodic units. Prosodic features of the syllable (tone, stress, duration) depend on its position and function in the rhythmic unit and in the utterance. A rhythmic unit is either 1 stressed syllable or a stressed syllable with a number of unstressed ones grouped around it. The stressed syllable is the nucleus of the rhythmic unit. There are as many rhythmic units in an utterance as there are stressed syllables in it. The unstressed syllables are called clitics. Preceding the stressed syllable – proclitics; following it - enclitics.
Word-stress can be defined as the singling out 1 or more syllables in a word which is accomplished by the change of the force of utterance, pitch of voice, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of vowels.
Types of word-stress: 1. Tonic stress - refers to the syllable in a word which receives the most stress in an intonation unit; 2. Emphatic stress - if you decide to emphasize sth, you can change the stress from the principal noun to another content word such as an adjective or an intensifier; 3. Contrastive stress - is used to point out the difference between one object and another; tends to be used with determiners like "this, that, these, those"; 4. New information stress - when asked a question, the requested information is stressed more strongly (the rule of theme and rheme). Degrees of word-stress: 1. Primary; 2. Secondary; 3. Tertiary; 4. Weak.
Functions of word-stress: 1. Constitutive - unites syllables into words; 2. Distinctive - differentiates the meanings of words or their forms; 3. Identificatory - identifies a succession of syllables as a definite accentual pattern of a word.


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