Accent (Stress)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error
John Constable (University of Cambridge)

Linguistic term which refers to that vocal quality of a syllable which distinguishes it from adjacent syllables by making it more prominent, usually by virtue of articulatory force (roughly equivalent to volume and involving a ‘chest pulse’), pitch, and duration, or, as is common in English, by a combination of some or all of these features.

In many English prosodies the term is roughly equivalent to ‘stress’, but usage of both terms varies very widely from period to period and author to author, and the reader should not expect consistent usage, but instead ensure that they are aware of the meanings being employed in a particular context. For example, while some looser and perhaps unthinking writers may employ the …

467 words

Citation: Constable, John. "Accent (Stress)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 June 2002 [, accessed 30 January 2023.]

13 Accent (Stress) 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.