á é í ó ú ý

General Comments

  • If you check any English dictionary, you will see that the word “variable” consistently follows the default word stress pattern (or, you could say, the “i  + vowel” pattern) in English—that is, native English speakers consistently stress it on its first syllable (i.e. “váriable”), not its second syllable (“varíable”). Because this is a very important and common word in your field, this is definitely the top-priority pronunciation error for you to work on from this recording! (Honestly, I think mispronouncing such a basic word in your field could really hurt your credibility as a statistics expert at conferences, in job interviews, etc. . . .I’m afraid people might think “Can she really know very much about statistics if she can’t even pronounce such a basic statistical word as ‘variable’ correctly?”) Therefore, it’s very important that you work hard to change your pronunciation habit for this word!
  • (I’ve heard you misstress it several times throughout the semester, so I think it’s a word you commonly need to use!)
  • Apparently, you misstressed “represent,” but unfortunately the raters didn’t tell me what your misstressing was. . . .
  • One rater expressed concern about your stress, but didn’t specify whether their concern was word or phrase stress ☹
  • FYI: Unless it’s being emphasized for some reason, English speakers frequently pronounce the preposition “for” using the “relaxed” schwa (ə) vowel (so “for” sounds like “fur”) rather than a carefully pronounced /o/
  • (If my 180 presentation feedback for you reveal any word stress error patterns:)




“[X word]” follows “[Y word stress pattern],” but you stressed it differently

  • The word “disproportionate” follows the “-ate/-ite” word stress pattern in English and therefore stress occurs two syllables before “-ate,” i.e. you should have stressed it as/it should be stressed as “dis-pro-pór-tion-ate,” not “dis-pro-pór-tion-ate.” (“The word stress for “phótograph” is different than the word stress for “photográphic” because “-ic” is a word-stress-changing word ending)
  • The word “process” follows the default word stress pattern of English — that is, it’s stressed on its first syllable (i.e. “prócess”), not its second syllable (“procéss”). (Actually, perhaps surprisingly, the default word stress pattern can apply to the word “process” not only when it’s a noun, but also when it’s a verb!)
  • While sometimes you stressed “economists” correctly, “eCONomists” (following the “stress falls two syllables before ‘-y’ in long words” pattern), other times you stressed it as “econOMists” (understandably, but incorrectly, following the “stress falls one syllable before ‘-ic'” pattern, based on the very frequent word, “economics”).
  • (Although “aspect” probably looks like it should follow the “avoiding-stress-rejecting-prefixes” word stress pattern, like most nouns, it in fact takes default first-syllable stress.)
  • You accidentally misstressed the verb “afFect” like the noun “AFfect,” in violation of the “POS-controlled stress inversion in prefixed words” stress pattern.
  • If you intended to pronounce this word as a verb, your word stress was correct. However, if you intended to pronounce it as a noun, I should let you know that your word stress was actually incorrect. (I mention this because from what I know of your field, you probably do use “insert” as noun sometimes!)
  • (It appears you’re treating “-ate”/”-ize” as a stress-reflexive suffix, but it’s not)
    • Use Anki to build new pronunciation habits for English words following word stress patterns identified as problematic in your OECT or 180D presentation feedback, etc., by practicing each Anki-scheduled review day technical terms in your field, high-frequency academic English vocabulary, and high-frequency general English vocabulary that follow these problem stress patterns. Each time you review a word, practice stressing it correctly first in isolation several times and then by creating 2 or 3 new sentences containing the word (checking afterward that you’ve continued to stress it correctly, even when using it in context!)

“[X word]” is an exception to “[Y word stress pattern]”

  • You stressed the syllable “arch” in the word “óligarchy,” but actually “-archy” words are an exception to the “two syllables before “-y” in a long word pattern. . . . “-archy” words such as “hierarchy” and “oligarchy” instead follow the default English word stress pattern and should therefore be stressed on their first syllable.
    • Use Anki to build new habits each Anki-scheduled review day of pronouncing problem words/phrases (perhaps identified in your OECT or 180D presentation feedback) by 1) practicing each problem word’s/phrase’s pronunciation in isolation several times and 2) creating 2 or 3 new sentences containing each problem word/phrase (checking afterward your pronunciation and fluency in using that problem word or phrase in context).

Word stress is determined by the most rightward stress-controlling suffix

I’m afraid “intersectionálity” does not use the same word stress pattern as “interséction” (which is the word stress pattern I think you followed since you stressed it as “interséctionality”). This is because the word stress of “interséction” is controlled by the “i+vowel” word stress pattern, whereas the word stress of “intersectionálity” is controlled by the final “-y” word stress pattern. Make sense?

Mispronouncing the stressed syllable

  • Your pronunciation of all except one sound, the stressed “a” in “anchor,” is totally correct. Unfortunately, mispronouncing the stressed vowel of a word is an error very likely to hurt listeners’ understanding, since research has made it clear that when English listeners “look up” words they hear in their “mental dictionaries,” they primarily use the stressed syllable and especially the stressed vowel to help them identify what word the speaker is saying. Therefore, please continue to work on this problem word that is so important in your field: the “a” in “anchor” should be pronounced /eɪ/ (like “ay” in “day”), not /æ/ (like “a” in “cat”).

    Need a clear vowel even though unstressed

  • Although “dy” in “dynamic” is unstressed, it is pronounced in standard North American English with the clear vowel diphthong /ɑɪ/ rather than the reduced vowel /ə/ or the single vowel /ɑ/. Otherwise, your pronunciation of this phrase is perfect ☺
  • Although “-gon” in “polygon” is unstressed, it is pronounced with the same vowel as “gone,” not with the schwa /ə/. Otherwise, your pronunciation of “polygon” and the other words in your sentence is perfect ☺

Word Stress in Isolation vs. in Context

  • Although you correctly stressed “réalize” on the first syllable when you pronounced it in isolation, you accidentally moved your stress to the second syllable—realíze—once you put it into a sentence. Therefore, please continue to work on the word stress of “realize” in sentence contexts.


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