Connected Speech Quiz: Stress And Rythm

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Connected Speech Quiz: Stress And Rythm - Quiz

English is a marvelous language. Interestingly it has its nuances. Test your knowledge with our " Connected Speech Quiz: Stress and Rythm." Let's see well you're aware of the intricate details of proper English pronunciation. Have fun and test your deep knowledge with this informative quiz. Make sure to answer all the questions to get a good score. You can also play this quiz with your friend for a fun study session. Good Luck & study hard!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Stress, rhythm, intonation, and sound changes in connected speech are examples of ______.

    • A.

      Regressive assimilation

    • B.

      Content and function words

    • C.

      Suprasegmental features

    • D.

      Stress-timed languages

    Correct Answer
    C. Suprasegmental features
    Explanation
    The correct answer is C. These are all suprasegmental features of English--aspects of pronunciation that affect more than just one sound.

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  • 2. 

    When people talk, they often blend words together and make some changes in the sounds. This is ______.

    • A.

      A sign of sloppy, lazy speech.

    • B.

      A sign that the speaker is thinking carefully about these changes.

    • C.

      A normal part of everyone’s speech.

    • D.

      Mostly a characteristic of uneducated speakers.

    Correct Answer
    C. A normal part of everyone’s speech.
    Explanation
    The best answer is C. Everyone makes these changes when they talk. It's normal, not sloppy, lazy, or uneducated (although there might be differences in how strongly these changes are made in formal or informal speaking.) It's also important to know that these changes take place in all national varieties of English--American, British, Australian, and all the others.

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  • 3. 

    When three or more consonant sounds come together, the consonant cluster is sometimes simplified by omitting ______.

    • A.

      The first consonant.

    • B.

      The middle consonant.

    • C.

      The last consonant.

    • D.

      Any consonant the speaker chooses.

    Correct Answer
    B. The middle consonant.
    Explanation
    The best answer is B. For example, the word "desks" often loses the /k/ sound in the middle of the consonant cluster. "Sixths" often sounds like "six," and "months" often sounds like "muns." It's always a middle consonant in a cluster that's dropped--not the first or last one.

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  • 4. 

    How is a stressed syllable different from an unstressed syllable? (Choose four answers.)

    • A.

      The stressed syllable is longer in duration.

    • B.

      The stressed syllable is shorter in duration.

    • C.

      The stressed syllable is louder.

    • D.

      The stressed syllable is softer.

    • E.

      The stressed syllable is higher in pitch.

    • F.

      The stressed syllable is lower in pitch.

    • G.

      The vowel sound of the stressed syllable is clearer.

    • H.

      The vowel sound of the stressed syllable is less clear.

    Correct Answer(s)
    A. The stressed syllable is longer in duration.
    C. The stressed syllable is louder.
    E. The stressed syllable is higher in pitch.
    G. The vowel sound of the stressed syllable is clearer.
    Explanation
    A stressed syllable is usually longer, louder, and higher, and has a clearer vowel (that isn't reduced to "schwa.") The other answers are all typical of unstressed syllables. They're shorter, softer, and lower, and the vowel is often (but not always) "schwa."

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  • 5. 

    The types of words that receive the least stress in a sentence are usually _______.

    • A.

      Content words like "table," "write," or "intelligent."

    • B.

      Words containing consonant clusters, like "strong," "plants," or "against."

    • C.

      Words with suffixes that come from Latin, like "nation," "capacity," or "rectify."

    • D.

      Function words like "the," "at," "and," or "with."

    Correct Answer
    D. Function words like "the," "at," "and," or "with."
    Explanation
    The correct answer is D. Function words (small "grammar words," like articles, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, and helping verbs) are usually unstressed.

    Content words (words that have more meaning in themselves, like nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, tend to have more stress.

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  • 6. 

    The one word in a sentence that is most likely to receive sentence stress is _______.

    • A.

      The subject of the sentence.

    • B.

      The last content word in the sentence.

    • C.

      The longest word in the sentence.

    • D.

      The first word in the sentence.

    Correct Answer
    B. The last content word in the sentence.
    Explanation
    The best answer is B. The last content word in a sentence usually has sentence stress (also called "focus" or "prominence) in a neutral sort of sentence. This can change if the speaker wants to emphasize a different word:

    • Why are you going to school today? It's SUNday, not MONday.
    • No, I do NOT want to eat fried worms. I've already told you that.

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  • 7. 

    In a stress-timed language, _______.

    • A.

      All the syllables receive about the same amount of stress.

    • B.

      There’s really no predictable rhythm pattern.

    • C.

      The time between stressed syllables stays fairly constant.

    • D.

      People feel stressed out all the time when they speak.

    Correct Answer
    C. The time between stressed syllables stays fairly constant.
    Explanation
    The best answer is C. In a stress-timed language, the stressed syllables are spaced out fairly evenly, and the unstressed syllables squeeze in between.

    About answer A: A language in which all the syllables receive about the same amount of stress is called a syllable-timed language.

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  • 8. 

    In a syllable-timed language, _______.

    • A.

      All the syllables last for about the same amount of time.

    • B.

      There’s really no predictable rhythm pattern.

    • C.

      The time between stressed syllables stays fairly constant.

    • D.

      People feel stressed out all the time when they speak.

    Correct Answer
    A. All the syllables last for about the same amount of time.
    Explanation
    The best answer is A: A language in which all the syllables receive about the same amount of stress is called a syllable-timed language.

    About answer C: This describes a stress-timed language.

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  • 9. 

    What sound process is illustrated in Question 11?

    • A.

      Deletion

    • B.

      Epenthesis

    • C.

      Dissimilation

    • D.

      Assimilation

    Correct Answer
    D. Assimilation
    Explanation
    D is the correct answer. Assimilation means that a sound changes to become more similar to a sound near it.

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  • 10. 

    Linking: When the words “see it” are said at normal speed, what “extra” sound do we hear between them?

    • A.

      /y/

    • B.

      /l/

    • C.

      /r/

    • D.

      /w/

    Correct Answer
    A. /y/
    Explanation
    The best answer is A. Between a high front vowel and a following vowel, we tend to add a linking /y/.

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  • 11. 

    Linking: When the words “do it” are said at normal speed, what “extra” sound do we hear between them?

    • A.

      /y/

    • B.

      /l/

    • C.

      /r/

    • D.

      /w/

    Correct Answer
    D. /w/
    Explanation
    The best answer is D. Between a back rounded vowel and a following vowel, we tend to add a linking /w/.

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  • 12. 

    Linking: When one word ends in a stop and the next word begins in a stop (for example, “what time” or “black cat”) how do people normally pronounce the words?

    • A.

      They change one of the stops to a different sound so it will be easier to pronounce.

    • B.

      They pronounce both stops, with a little pause between them to separate them.

    • C.

      They pronounce just one stop, making it last longer.

    • D.

      They change the stops to fricatives.

    Correct Answer
    C. They pronounce just one stop, making it last longer.
    Explanation
    The best answer is C. The two stops join together and become one, long stop. Sometimes the first stop also becomes more like the second one.

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