Rhythm Experiment

Certain words in English can exhibit different stress in different contexts. For example, the word thirteen exhibits final stress in a phrase like I'm thirTEEN, but initial stress in a phrase like THIRteen men. Words like abrupt do NOT exhihibit this kind of variation: abRUPT people.

This experiment is designed to collect your intuitions about where stress goes in words that exhibit this variation. In all of the following examples, the adjectives bear stress on their final syllables when they occur in isolation. Your task is to tell us how likely initial stress is in these adjectives in the following combinations. For example, if you are presented with a phrase like thirteen men and you think the strongest stress in thirteen falls on its first syllable, check first. If, on the other hand, you think second syllable stress sounds better, check second. If you think both sound fine, check the button labelled both.

There is, of course, no right or wrong answer. We are simply interested in your intuitions about stress placement for their scientific value. If you are interested in a detailed debriefing, check the appropriate box at the end of the experiment.

There are only 39 items below. We need responses for all 39 if we are to make use of your responses.

If you enter some response by mistake. Don't worry, you can correct your response up until you hit the "submit" button at the end.

Are you a native speaker of English?

Experimental items(39)

concrete type

nonskid street

divine truth

innate need

obese child

malformed thing

concise plan

unsought space

bizarre death

preflight week

acute kind

inlaid board

urbane world

polite voice

oblique view

farfetched point

antique book

adroit boy

naive friend

unknown chief

austere word

unclean name

mature horse

mundane play

insane style

transverse stage

postwar gas

impure life

arcane sort

humane act

blase care

alert girl

concave step

unreal car

compact range

contrite son

worthwhile rate

ideal road

postpaid trade

Do you want the debriefing? (If so, you must enter your email address here: )

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

Mike Hammond