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精通美语语音二:Track01

2009-07-02 15:06人人英语听力

 
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  Nationalities

  When you are in a foreign country, the subject of nationalities naturally comes up a lot. It would be nice if there were a simple rule that said that all the words using nationalities are stressed on the first word. There isn't, of course. Take this preliminary quiz to see if you need to do this exercise. For simplicity's sake, we will stick with one nationality-American.

  Exercise 1-33: Nationality Intonation Quiz

  Pause the CD and stress one word in each of the following examples. Repeat after me.

  1. an American guy

  2. an American restaurant

  3. American food

  4. an American teacher

  5. an English teacher

  When you first look at it, the stress shifts may seem arbitrary, but let's examine the logic behind these five examples and use it to go on to other, similar cases.

  1. an American guy

  The operative word is American; guy could even be left out without changing the meaning of the phrase. Compare I saw two American guys yesterday, with I saw two Americans yesterday. Words like guy, man kid, lady, people are de facto pronouns in an anthropocentric language. A strong noun, on the other hand, would be stressed—— they flew an American flag. This is why you have the pattern change in Exercise 1-22: 4e, Jim killed a man; but 4b, He killed a snake.

  2. an American restaurant

  Don't be sidetracked by an ordinary descriptive phrase that happens to have a nationality in it. You are describing the restaurant, we went to a good restaurant yesterday or we went to an American restaurant yesterday. You would use the same pattern where the nationality is more or less incidental in I had French toast for breakfast. French fry, on the other hand, has become a set phrase.

  3. American food

  Food is a weak word. I never ate American food when I lived in Japan. Let's have Chinese food for dinner.

  4. an American teacher

  this is a description, so the stress is on teacher.

  5. an English teacher

  this a set phrase. The stress is on the subject being taught, not the nationality of the teacher: a French teacher, a Spanish teacher, a history teacher.

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