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stress


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The relative emphasis given in pronunciation to a syllable, in loudness, pitch, or duration (or some combination of these). The term is usually interchangeable with accent, although some theorists of prosody reserve it only for the emphasis occurring according to a metrical pattern (see metre). In English verse, the metre of a line is determined by the number of stresses in a sequence composed of stressed and unstressed syllables (also referred to as strongly stressed and weakly stressed syllables). In quantitative verse, on the other hand, the metrical pattern is made up of syllables measured by their duration rather than by stress.

Subjects: Literature.


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