Unit 10 Strong Forms & Weak Forms

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Unit 10 Strong Forms
& Weak Forms
Strong forms & Weak forms
Strong forms: stressed forms
 Weak forms: unstressed forms (//),e.g.
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Words
at
has
she
could
Strong Vowels
//
//
/:/
//
Weak Vowels
//
//
//
//
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Some English words only have strong forms, but other
words have both strong forms and weak forms. These words are called
structural words. They include many thousands in English , but among
them 45 are important to English learners, including the following 5
groups :
1)determiners
2)pronouns ; 3)connectives ;
4)auxiliary verbs; 5) prepositions.
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1.The factors that influence the usage of strong form or
weak form of a structural word :
1) the position of a word in a sentence;
2) the degree of stress of a word ; and
3) other factors .
When they bear stress , no change in sound quality
takes place and so the strong forms are
used . Otherwise, weak forms are used.
2. Signs which a weak form of a
word may be noted by:
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(1) a shortening in the length of a vowel,e.g.
/i:/------/i/ as in we, he , been.
/u:/ -----/u/ as in to, who, you.
/:/-----// as in sir, were, per.
(2)a change in a vowel sound, e.g.
was /wCz/ ------ /wz/ ,
us /Q/----//,
by /bai/------- /b,
b/.
(3) the absence of a sound, e.g.
and/n/-------/n,n,n/ ,
them/Tem/-------/Tm/,
her/:/-------/:,/.
3. The rules for the uses of strong
forms:
1) Strong forms are used when structural words occur at the end of a
sense group or a sentence. e.g.
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Music is what I fond of ./ What are you looking at ?
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What is he waiting for ?/ Where did you get from ?
2) Strong forms are used when such words are in contrast. e.g.
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I have a letter for him ,not from him.
3) Strong forms are used when such words are used for emphasis.
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I think maybe ``you know it .
4) Strong forms are used when they are being used as nouns. e.g.
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Did you say ``“he”?
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“A”, “an ”,and “the” are articles.
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Note : Negative contract forms do not take weak forms, such as
haven’t, can’t, etc

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