pronunciation of "allied"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by susanna76, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. susanna76 Senior Member

    Both Collins and Merriam-Webster give two pronunciations for "allied" (as in "the allied nations") one with an accent on the first syllable, and the other with the accent on the second syllable. I wonder if there is a BrE and AmE difference in the way one or the other pronunciation is preferred. So how do you pronounce "allied"?

  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    I only say it with initial stress, and likewise 'ally' noun and verb both. I can just about accept final pronunciation for the verb, but it sounds quite unusual:

    They might ally themselves with Portugal.
    They finally allied themselves with Portugal.

    Note that if you're going to test the pronunciation of the adjective 'allied', you need to choose nouns that begin with an unstressed syllable, to make sure there's no stress shift going on: allied commanders, allied invaders, for example.
  3. Welshie

    Welshie Senior Member

    England, English
    I agree with entangledbank. I can allow "ally" for the verb forms, but as an adjective it sounds very strange.
  4. g_man_50 Senior Member

    USA English
    When used as a noun or pure adjective, stress the first syllable.
    When used as a verb or verbal phrase, as in "The allied commanders" (The commanders who were allied), stress the second syllable.
  5. Spira Banned

    South of France
    UK English
    Is this really a rule?
    I can accept it, but I would also accept first-syllable stress in all cases.
  6. g_man_50 Senior Member

    USA English
    Though not a rule, per se, it is pretty much the norm in AE. This is called a suprafix in linguistics and is becoming more standardized in some English dialects. At least 170 verb-noun (or adjective) pairs exist. Here are some examples.

    absent - abstract - addict - address - ally - annex - attribute - combat - combine - commune - compact - compost - compound - compress - concert - conduct - confine(s) - conflict - conscript - console - consort - construct - consult - content - contest - contract -contrast - converse - convert - convict -decrease - default - defect - desert - detail -digest - discard - discharge - discount - discourse - dismount - escort - excise - exploit - export - extract - finance - frequent - impact - implant - impound - import - imprint - incense - incline - increase - indent - inlay - insert - insult - intercept - interchange - interdict - interlock - interplay - interweave - intrigue - invite - misprint - object - offset - overcount - overlap - overlay - overlook - override - overrun - perfect - perfume - permit - pervert - present - proceed(s) - produce - progress - project - protest - purport - rebel - recall - recap - recess - recoil - record - re-count - redirect - redo - redress - refill - refund - refuse - regress - rehash - reject - relapse - relay - remake - repeat - reprint - research - reset - retake - retard - retract - retread - rewrite - segment - subject - suspect - torment - transfer - transplant - transport - undercount - underlay - underline - underscore - update - upgrade - upset
  7. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    "The allied commanders", to me, is a noun phrase. I would stress the first syllable.

    Otherwise, I tend to follow this pattern of stressing the first syllable on the noun or adjective and second syllable on the verb. I didn't know that it was a rule.
  8. g_man_50 Senior Member

    USA English
    The "Allied Commanders" is certainly a noun phrase when the first syllable of the word 'allied' is stressed. But it is a verbal phrase if the second syllable is stressed, which is the point I was making.
  9. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I don't see how it could be a verbal phrase. Can you explain? Commanders is a noun.
  10. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Both the old OED and Fowler's Modern English Usage give final stress to both noun and verb, I find. So it used to be an exception in one direction to the noun/verb stress generalization, but for most people it's now an exception in the other direction.

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