The production of compound stress by Brazilian learners of English

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This paper describes an analysis of the stress patterns used by advanced Brazilian learners in the production of English compound nouns. It was predicted that the lack of distinction between composite nominals and compound nouns in Portuguese would strongly influence the participants to assign primary stress to the final constituent, regardless of the syntax. Data were collected by means of a reading activity which included the target constructions in unrelated sentences. Results confirmed a strong tendency for participants to give greater prominence to the second constituent of compounds, although exceptions to this tendency indicated that the participants’ choice of stress pattern may also have been influenced by the length of constituents and relative familiarity of the lexical items involved.


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