Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stressed and Unstressed

So, we were talking about accented and unaccented syllables this morning in my word study class (I know! The things English teachers do for fun on Saturday, right?), when the instructor gave an example about how regional accents can influence speech inflection.

"I'm from Florida," she told us, "and I love tacos. Down there we pronounce the name of the fast food chain as Taco Bell, emphasis on the last syllable."

The class nodded, and I could see several students frowning and mouthing the words. I listened carefully as she continued.

"Up here," she said, "most people say Ta-co Bell, emphasis on the first syllable."

We didn't get it, or at least, we didn't hear it.

I tried pronouncing it that way quietly. "Taco Bell, Taco Bell, Taco Bell," I whispered to myself, and then I stopped.

"Oh! It rhymes with Pachelbel!" I said out loud. "Like the Canon!"

8 comments:

  1. I mouthed both ways too, but I don't have a musical background to draw from. Isn't it funny how the same word with a variance of accent can sound so different.
    http://travelinma.blogspot.com/

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  2. HA! now I have that lovely song in my head--AND I need tacos!

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  3. Haha! I would have thought that song too... It was my favorite song back when I played violin. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  4. It's amazing how very wrong /Taco BELL/ would sound to me!

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  5. Nuances of English really can be fun. Thanks for giving me a reason to smile the next time I pass our local fast food TV

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  6. Nuances of English really can be fun. Thanks for giving me a reason to smile the next time I pass our local fast food TV

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  7. Oops that would by TB as in taco bell

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  8. I suddenly feel the need for classical music and tacos. ;) Fascinating information to ponder, though! Thanks for sharing!

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