Stress-timed language

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This is a Teflpedia phonetics article. For simplicity, many of our articles are presently based on British English and Received Pronunciation. We trust teachers will adapt the information to their particular situation and/or that of their students. If this article is suitable for other dialects, such as General American, please delete the template {{Phonetics}}. If this article is really dependent on Received Pronunciation, please change the template by {{Phonetics-RP}}.

A stress-timed language is a language in which the language stress falls on the content words of the language - the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The other parts of speech - conjunctions, pronouns, modal verbs etc are reduced to weak forms in order to not disrupt the flow of the stress timing.

Standard English is a stress-timed language, although the degree of stress-timing may vary with the accent used. For example, Noah Webster's influence may have resulted in General American perhaps being less stress-timed than British English.


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