Stress Placement in English Bi-Syllabic and Tri-Syllabic Suffixed Words and their Roots by Pashto Speakers in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (Pakistan)

Afzal Khan, Mustanir Ahmad, Prof. Dr. Noor Afroze Khuwaja


This study determines the pattern of English (primary) word stress in Bi-syllabic and Trisyllabic suffixed words and their roots by Pashto speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan and the effect of such affixation on stress placements. These suffixes in English Language are called shifter, they shift strong stress to the antepenultimate (third from the last), similarly penultimate (second from the last), and ultimately (last) syllables, as well as those suffixes that do not shift strong stress to other syllable. The data was collected from sixteen native speakers of Pashto Language in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, by recording their oralreading of a card, containing a selection of words. The findings indicated that primary stress pattern varies among bi-syllabic, and tri-syllabic suffixed words. These four types of English suffixes assert a variety of degree on the stress placements by the participants. The most significant observation of this research study demonstrated that suffixes ese and ade have the least effect on participants’ stress placements, because maximum of the primary stress maintained on first syllable in their suffixed words along with their root words, but do not shift to last syllable. Subsequently, having determined that the correct primary stress is on last syllable in these types of suffixed words, the pattern of stress placement on first syllable causes most incorrect productions. Although suffixes ese and ade do not appear as regularly as other suffixes, e.g., ic, ity, and cy, the findings disclosed that there was extreme unawareness of the strong stress shifting effect among Pashto speakers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which needed further attention.

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