The phonological and morphological foundations of the secondary stress phoneme in North American English
Keywords:primary stress phoneme; secondary stress phoneme; tertiary stress phoneme; weak stress phoneme; schwa
Stress phonemes are important suprasegmenal and prosodic features in North American English (henceforth, NAE) in the pronunciation of English vocabulary items. By nature secondary stress phoneme is the weaker than the primary stress phoneme but stronger than the tertiary stress phoneme. It is at least three times stronger than the weak stress phoneme, which is always encountered on it. Optimality Theory and Metrical Theory help the learners to understand the matters on the perception of the four stress phonemes in English. In this article, phonological and morphological foundations of the secondary stress phoneme will be analyzed and specific examples via phonemic transcription will be utilized to prove how the shifts of primary stress phoneme creates the secondary stress phoneme accompanied by the schwa phoneme in the phonological structure of English vocabulary items.