Skip to main content Accessibility help

On pre-accentual lengthening

  • Richard Dasher (a1) and Dwight Bolinger (a1)


Among the numerous factors known or suspected to affect the length of a syllable in English is the nature of the immediately following syllable. It is widely recognized (P. Fijn van Draat, 1910, p. 14; Jones, 1956, §§ 886–7; Bolinger, 1965, pp. 168–9; Lehiste, 1972, p. 2021) that in a succession of monosyllabic words a word containing a full vowel will be longer when followed by another such word than when followed by a word containing a reduced vowel.1 Van Draat's example is Money makes the mare to go versus Money makes the mare go: in the latter, ‘We pronounce mare in two syllables.’ In the former one can say that the reduced to ‘borrows time’ from the full mare.



Hide All
Bolinger, Dwight. (1963). Length, vowel, juncture. Linguistics 1.529.
Bolinger, Dwight. (1965). Forms of English: accent, morpheme, order. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Bolinger, Dwight. (1972). Degree words. The Hague: Mouton.
Bolinger, Dwight. (1976). Length, vowel, juncture (revised). Bilingual Review 3: 1.4361.
Bolinger, Dwight. (1981). Two kinds of vowels, two kinds of rhythm. Bloomington: Indiana University Linguistics Club.
Bolinger, Dwight, Lea, Wayne A., and Van Lancker, Diana. In progress. Untitled.
Fijn Van Draat, P. (1910). Rhythm in English prose. Anglistische Forschungen (Heidelberg).
Jones, Daniel. (1956). An outline of English phonetics, 8th edition. New York: Dutton.
Lehiste, Ilse. (1972). The timing of utterances and linguistic boundaries. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 51.2018–24.
Liberman, Mark. (1979). The intonational system of English. New York: Garland.
Nakatani, Lloyd H., and Schaffer, Judith A. (1978). ‘Hearing words’ without words: prosodic cues for word perception. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 63.234–45.
Umeda, Noriko. and Harris, M. S. (1978). Prosodic structure of English: its acoustic analysis and perception. Study of sounds 18.245–57 (Phonetic Society of Japan).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the International Phonetic Association
  • ISSN: 0025-1003
  • EISSN: 1475-3502
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-phonetic-association
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed