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Poster Communications Year : 2011

A Dictionary Database of Contemporary English : when the Tool Meets the Needs The Particular Case of Word Stress Assignment in Disyllabic Verbs

Abstract

A dictionary database of contemporary English : when the tool meets the needs The particular case word stress assignment in disyllabic verbs Elodie Descloux, Pierre Fournier, Marjolaine Martin, Sophie Vanhoutte Laboratoire Ligérien de Linguistique lll@univ-tours.fr In the mid 60s Lionel Guierre made a computerized version of all the entries in D. Jones' English Pronouncing Dictionary (12th edition, 1964). He added information such as syntactical categories, stress patterns and reversed spelling. His computerized corpus allowed him to formulate hypotheses on English pronunciation and to demonstrate their validity. Since 2008 we have developed a new database following Guierre’s idea. The database enables us to have an up-to-date reliable source on the pronunciation of lexical units in contemporary English including all necessary syntactical, lexical and morphological information, usage data, and variation : it compiles the information contained in three major dictionaries, Jones’s Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, Wells’ Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, (Southern British English and General American English) and Macquarie Dictionary (Standard Australian English). The exploitation of our database allows to check the validity of established rules for stress placement and uncover rules for unaccounted parts of the vocabulary. The aim of this poster presentation is to illustrate the kind of research that can be done with the database using the case of word stress assignment in disyllabic verbs. Indeed, specialized works on English stress (Roach 1983, Giegerich 1992 or Carr 1999) attribute a specific stress tendency to dissyllabic verbs, i.e. stress on the second/last syllable. However, a number of verbs do not conform with that assumption. Our analysis argues that only prefixed verbs are stressed in /01/, while non-prefixed dissyllabic verbs tend to be stressed on the first syllable, /10/. These two interpretations of the structure of the stress system radically differ. Our work focuses on monocategorial verbs and primary pronunciations. For this particular study we have re-assessed our results in light of the usage frequencies information from the COCAE (particularly stress pattern tendency of frequent verbs as opposed to less frequent ones, if they happen to differ). The following table gives the proportion of dissylabic verbs in contemporary English according to their frequencies References Carr, P. (1999), English Phonetics and Phonology : an Introduction, London : Blackwell. Chomsky, N., Halle, M., 1968, The Sound Pattern of English, New-York: Harper & Row. Descloux E., Fournier, J-.M., Fournier ,P., Girard, I., Martin, M., Structure, variations, usage & corpora : the case of word stress assignment in disyllabic verbs, PAC Workshop 2010 :Structure, Variation, usage and corpora, Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier III Giegerich, H.J. (1992), English Phonology. An Introduction, Cambridge : CUP. Guierre, L., 1984, Drills in English Stress-Patterns, 4e ed., Londres : A. Colin - Longman. Roach, P., 1983, English Phonetics and Phonology, a Practical Course, Cambridge: CUP. Jones, D., 2006, Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, 17th edition, edited by P. Roach, J. Setter & J. Hartman, Cambridge: CUP. Macquarie Dictionary, 2005, 4th edition, Sydney: Macquarie Dictionary Publishers Pty Ltd Wells, J.C., 2008, Pronunciation Dictionary, 3rd edition, London: Longman. Corpus Of Contemporary American English, Mark Davies : http://www.americancorpus.org

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hal-04608585 , version 1 (11-06-2024)

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Marjolaine Sophie Martin, Pierre Fournier, Sophie Vanhoutte, Élodie Descloux. A Dictionary Database of Contemporary English : when the Tool Meets the Needs The Particular Case of Word Stress Assignment in Disyllabic Verbs. MFM19 Manchester Phonology Meeting 2011, May 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-04608585⟩
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