Affixes and Word Stress


- Affixes are morphemes that are added to a word to change its meaning or grammatical function. They can be prefixes, suffixes, or infixes.

- Understanding affixes is essential for vocabulary expansion and deciphering the meaning of unfamiliar words.

a) Prefixes

- Prefixes are affixes that are added to the beginning of a word. They can change the meaning of the word or create a new word.

  - Example: Unhappy, Disconnect, Rewrite

b) Suffixes

- Suffixes are affixes that are added to the end of a word. They can indicate grammatical properties such as tense, plurality, or create a new word.

  - Example: Happyness, Connection, Writer

c) Infixes

- Infixes are affixes that are inserted within a word to modify its meaning or grammatical function. They are less common in English compared to prefixes and suffixes.

  - Example: Fanfreakintastic, unbefreakinlievable

d) Derivational Affixes

- Derivational affixes change the meaning or grammatical category of the base word, creating a new word with a different meaning.

  - Example: Unhappy, Misunderstand, Prefix

e) Inflectional Affixes

- Inflectional affixes do not change the basic meaning or grammatical category of a word but indicate aspects such as tense, aspect, mood, or plurality.

  - Example: Walks, Talking, Happier


Word Stress

- Word stress refers to the emphasis placed on a syllable within a word. In English, word stress plays a crucial role in pronunciation and understanding the meaning of words.

- Word stress patterns can vary based on the number of syllables in a word and the specific rules of stress placement.

Rules of Word Stress:

1. One-Syllable Words: In one-syllable words, stress is usually placed on the vowel sound.

   - Example: Cat, Dog, Man

2. Two-Syllable Words: In two-syllable words, the stress can fall on the first syllable, the second syllable, or both syllables equally.

   - Example: Sunset (First syllable stress), Canine (Second syllable stress), Project (Equal stress on both syllables)

3. Three or More Syllable Words: In longer words, stress typically falls on one of the middle syllables. However, there are no strict rules, and stress patterns may vary.

   - Example: Information, Development, Photography

4. Suffixes Influence Stress: The addition of suffixes can affect the stress pattern of a word. In general, stress tends to move closer to the beginning of the word.

   - Example: Ecological → Ecology, Develop → Development

Importance of Word Stress

- Word stress is crucial for effective communication as it helps to distinguish between different meanings of words that have the same spelling but different stress patterns (homographs).

- Understanding word stress patterns aids in accurate pronunciation, improves listening comprehension, and enhances overall fluency in spoken English.