Stress Placement in English Quadri-Syllabic and Five-Syllabic Suffixed Words and Their Roots by Pashto Speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan

  •  Afzal Khan    
  •  Inayat Ullah    
  •  Aziz Khan    


This research study investigates the pattern of English (primary) word stress in quadri-syllabic and five-syllabic suffixed words and their roots by Pashto speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan and the effect of suffixation on stress placements. These suffixes in English language are called shifters which shift strong stress to the antepenultimate (third from the last), penultimate (second from the last), and ultimately (last) syllables, as well as those suffixes that do not shift strong stress to other syllables. The data was collected from sixteen Pashto language native speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan, by way of recording their oral-reading of a card that contained the selected words. The findings of this study indicate that primary stress pattern varies among quadri-syllabic, and five-syllabic, suffixed words. The three types of suffixes in English language assert different degrees of effect on subjects stress placement, which can influence the amount of correct productions by the subjects. Actually, the suffixes “cial” or “tial” and “ic” state a great effect on subjects primary stress placement, because the subjects were capable of generating the shift in primary stress in penultimate syllable. Unlike the greater number of incorrect productions in “tory” and “ity” suffixed words, the subjects were sensitive to the change of stress pattern, which assists a great number of correct productions in “cial” or “tial” and “ic” suffixed words. The findings disclose the fact that there was extreme unawareness of the strong stress shifting effect by Pashto speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which further needed more attention.

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