Query about stress

Discussion in 'General Language' started by dozmary, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. dozmary

    dozmary Member

    In all my language books, it is constantly said that the stress in Czech falls on the first syllable. Yet, when I listen to my audio learning, the stress often falls on the second. "Prominte" for instance, is usually spoken with the stress clearly on the "min".

    Can anybody explain this discrepancy?
  2. jen

    jen Well-Known Member

    They're pronouncing it wrong then :) ....although I will say, as I mutter prominte over and over under my breath, that it's not a super heavy stress on the first syllable, but it's definitely there.
  3. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    1) dont stress about stress - it should be only very weak stress(better no stress than strong stress).

    2) stress allways follows firsl sillable of word but "Pro-" is prefix.. (although "miňte" isnt too common word)

    3) I just asked my schoolmate(not mentioning why) to say "promiňte" and stress was clearly at "pro-" ..
  4. dozmary

    dozmary Member

  5. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    As has been mentioned, the stress on the first syllable of the word in Czech is much less pronounced than syllable stressing in English.

    You should also be careful not to confuse vowel lengtheners (čarky) with syllable stress. Often it may sound to an English speaker that a syllable with a čarka is actually stressed (particularly in the absence of a strong stress in the word), whereas more careful listening reveals it only to be a longer vowel duration.

    In the word, promiňte, which doesn't have a čarka, I don't hear a stress on the second syllable. Perhaps the confusion lies in a subtle lengthening of the second syllable (specifically in the n) due to the combination of the soft n, followed by a hard t beginning the next syllable. If this is the case, then again, don't confuse length of the syllable with stress.
  6. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    What about pomalu? I've heard mothers saying it to young children and it definitely sounds as though they are stressing the a rather than the pom.
  7. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    po-ma-lu (not pom-a-lu)

    The stress in standard Czech is on the fist syllable even in this word 8)

    In the region near the polish border (aspecially Ostrava, Těšín etc.) the stress is on the before the last syllable as in Polish. May by this was the case. But, as Sova said, the stress in Czech is less pronounced and usually difficult to hear.
  8. Polednikova

    Polednikova Well-Known Member

    So in essence, it's not deeply critical to always stress the first, so long as you don't over stress any of the others?
  9. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    So in essence, the stress is not critical at all. 8)

    Wrong-placed stress makes you sound non-Czech, too strong stress makes you sound barking and none stress makes your pronunciation less distinct.

    The stress in Czech works as support for identification of borders of words (and syllables to less extent).
    With proper Czech stressing it should be possible to differentiate “Tomáš Marný” (= Thomas Marný) from “to máš marný” (~ That is vain.) or “aperiodický” (= aperiodic) from “a periodický” (= and periodic), but this is problem even for the natives.

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