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Wrong syllable stress when reading

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
14 messages over 2 pages: 1
Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2219 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 9 of 14
11 September 2015 at 12:41am | IP Logged 
Figuring out the stress in new Tagalog words is tricky! I've searched high and low, but as far as I can tell, there are
no fast rules. I have no advice for you, friend - just lots and lots of empathy.

I use anki to study vocabulary, and I bold the stressed syllable in each new word. This helps with learning words that
I've already inputted, but it doesn't let me access new words through unfamiliar texts. As someone who generally
learns a lot through reading, I'm finding that I need to rely more on other methods.

I use GLOSS and Elementary Tagalog (a textbook with audio CD), so I do have some good resources. I'm thinking
about paying someone to record themselves reading a children's book so I'll have something to work with when I
finish Elementary Tagalog.

Speakeasy - the only way to identify stress (or, as you say, long and short vowels) in Tagalog is to hear the word
spoken by a native speaker. It makes it hard to read any word that you don't already know.

Edited by Stelle on 11 September 2015 at 12:59am

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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
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456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 10 of 14
11 September 2015 at 1:30am | IP Logged 
@Stelle,
I am confident that everyone interested in this discussion genuinely appreciates your insight, particularly as it derives from years of study and benefits from the viewpoint of a non-native-speaker. That includes me, even though I have no intention of studying Tagalog. Also, thank you for correcting my assumptions.

Nonetheless, I perceive an opportunity here. It would be "child's play" for the Republic of the Philippines to adopt a spelling reform that would include the use of diacritical marks to indicate stress. The fact that a reform has never been effected for the English language is a measure of the special "cachet" accrued to our common tongue. Sniff, sniff.

Edited by Speakeasy on 11 September 2015 at 1:46am

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Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2219 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 11 of 14
11 September 2015 at 4:09am | IP Logged 
Just to add...

I'm not suggesting that there are no patterns at all. There are definitely patterns! It's just that it's hard to trust your
instinct.

For instance, two adjectives (with stressed syllable in bold):

maganda (pretty)
mahaba (long)

...both three syllable words, ending in -a. My instinct tells me that they would have the same syllable stressed. My
instinct would be wrong.

malaki (big)
lalaki (man)

...one different letter, but a completely different rhythm to the two words.

nakakainis (annoying): I learned it in written form only, and pronounced it nakakainis (since many Tagalog
words stress the second-to-last syllable). The correct pronunciation is nakakainis - different enough to
lead to a breakdown in communication if I'm not talking with a very patient native speaker.

And then there are words where a change in stress changes the meaning completely:

hapon (afternoon)
hapon (Japanese)
(Just like polish and Polish in English, so I shouldn't complain!)

I think that Expugnator has the right idea: lots and lots (and lots) of listening to hone our instincts!

Edited by Stelle on 14 September 2015 at 1:45am

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Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 2219 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 12 of 14
11 September 2015 at 4:20am | IP Logged 
Speakeasy wrote:


Nonetheless, I perceive an opportunity here. It would be "child's play" for the Republic of the Philippines to adopt a
spelling reform that would include the use of diacritical marks to indicate stress. The fact that a reform has never
been effected for the English language is a measure of the special "cachet" accrued to our common tongue. Sniff,
sniff.


Such a thing exists! Dictionaries have stress marks.

http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/filpro.htm

It doesn't help with extensive reading, though. Looking up every unfamiliar word to determine stress would defeat
the purpose of extensive reading.
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Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2127 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 13 of 14
11 September 2015 at 6:11am | IP Logged 
Hi Stelle,

Thank you for your additional comments. Perhaps I wasn't clear when I suggested the use of diacritical marks to indicate stress in Tagalog. I meant the use of these marks to indicate where the stress falls in a word in everyday writing as is done in Spanish. If needs be, the system could be expanded to include variants in pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet. Many languages use such marks. You know, as in the "Reformed English Orthography" that we've been expecting for the past five centuries.

I doubt very much that our discussing the matter here will provide the impetus for such a spelling reform for Tagalog, or for English for that matter, but it seems to me that both languages would benefit from one.

My participation has been that of an admittedly uninformed observer making a modest attempt at guiding the discussion towards possible solutions to the problem as originally expressed: language courses, clarification of the study plan, communicating directly with you, etcetera and your participation was the key ingredient.

My comment that the written Tagalog language could benefit from a "spelling reform" was genuine; nonetheless, it was not offered as a practicable solution to the problem as originally stated. My references to the five-century-long wait for a similar reform of English language was meant to be sardonic only.

I assume that you and webmagnets will continue the discussion without me.

Ciao for now!

Edited by Speakeasy on 11 September 2015 at 6:12am

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Serpent
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serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 14 of 14
16 September 2015 at 7:41pm | IP Logged 
Stelle wrote:

And then there are words where a change in stress changes the meaning completely:

hapon (afternoon)
hapon (Japanese)
(Just like polish and Polish in English, so I shouldn't complain!)

unrelated but are they really distinguished by stress? I'd think the difference is vowel quality (when there's any difference at all).

Edited by Serpent on 16 September 2015 at 7:41pm



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