Introduction: There are two main types of rhythm in world languages; the
SYLLABLETIMED LANGUAGES and the STRESS-TIMED LANGUAGES. In stress-timed languages, it is
claimed that the stressed syllables recur at regular intervals of time regardless of the number of intervening unstressed syllables, as in English; the unstressed syllables (whether many or few) occupy almost the same period between the stressed syllables. Syllable-timed languages, all the syllables take the same time (at regular intervals of time) whether stressed or not, as in French.
1. Rhythm : Rhythm The number of stressed syllable = unstressed ones · О · О · О I ˈthink he ˈwants to ˈgo. · О · · О · · О I ˈthink that he ˈwants us to ˈgo. · О ····О ··· О I ˈthink that he’s to ˈtell them not to ˈgo. Each of the three sentences contains the same number of stressed syllables, but a different number of unstressed syllables. So, they are pronounced almost in the same period of time. 1.1.A Note on Sentence Stress and English “rhythm”: It is important to remember that an English sentence will have a certain number of beats. Stressed content words always take up an entire “beat”, while “unstressed” function words fall between the beats. Irrespective of how many function words have been grouped together, the time between beats is always the same. For this reason, function words are often spoken faster and with less volume – they are literally being “squeezed” into the gap between regular stressed beats. In the examples below, all of the function words take the same amount of time to pronounce, irrespective of the number of sounds or syllables they include. Examples: I am ˈtalking to the ˈclever ˈstudents. The number of stressed syllable= number of beats Beat 1 Beat 2 Beat 3 I am to the ˈtalking ˈclever ˈstudents. They’re to some of the ˈtalking ˈclever ˈstudents. Example 2 : He was ˈtalking to the ˈteacher but they ˈweren’t ˈlistening to him. Beat 1 Beat 2 Beat 3 Beat 4 but they He was to the ˈtalking ˈteacher ˈweren’t ˈlistening Example 3 : He is ˈwriting ˈquickly so it’s ˈdifficult for him to ˈhear me.
Beat 1 Beat 2 ˈwriting ˈquickly
Beat 3 ˈdifficult
for him to
Beat 4 ˈhear
1.2.Rhythm and Poetry: Students of English in the module of literature, they analyze the poetic lines according to their combinations of unstressed ( ) syllables and stressed ( / ) ones , which are called feet. These sound patterns are metres in poetry, are studied in the prosody of rhyme and stanza forms. Like the parsing of the rhythm pattern called Iambic = ( / ) . E.g.: Beyˈond the ˈutmost ˈbound of ˈhuman ˈthought (Tennyson) / bɪˈjɒnd ðɪ ˈʌtməʊst ˈbaʊnd əv ˈhjuːmən ˈθɔːt / /