In English, there are certain suffixes (e.g.; -ion, -ic) that affect the placement of stress in a word. These suffixes are very common in academic and business vocabulary, often appearing in families of words, e.g. specific, specify, specification. Correctly placing word stress is critical for helping your listeners recognize your words, so it’s a good idea to learn the rules for predicting word stress based on suffixes.
Can you figure out the pattern in the pronunciation of words with these suffixes? Listen to the two example sentences:
The presidential campaign has been competitive, in the opinions of many, and politicians are not eager to mollify voters just yet.
If you’re curious about astronomical phenomena, you’ll find substantial information online.
Pronounce each of the words below, and then listen to the recording. Did you place the stress correctly?
What do you do now?
First, attend our Word Stress I and Word Stress II FSS Sessions to learn more about suffixes and practice using them with your peers.
Second, make sure you pay attention to how each suffix changes a word’s part of speech (e.g., noun to verb), if at all. For example, economic is an adjective, but economy is a noun.
Third, attend our Focused Skills Series sessions on Word Stress.
Last, come see a speech consultant to learn more about suffixes and how to master them, and improve your intelligibility.