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Dear Mr. Cummings, I am confused about words like lemon that have a v/cv pattern. I understand that these words are derived from the French. I am reading your handout that explains that the reason for this is that words in French had stress on the 2nd vowel. However, my fluent French friends and some info I researched says that the French do not stress syllables unlike in English. Thank you for your time. Heather
Heather -- I think the confusion is due to some carelessness on my part: My statement that French words like lemon are stressed on the final syllable can suggest a strong difference in stress between the two syllables, as is the case in English. What I should have said is that while French stresses the two syllables more or less evenly, there is slightly more stress, or emphasis, on the final syllable. Thus, when lemon is adapted into English, the final syllable, which in French is only slightly stronger than the first syllable, becomes in English markedly weaker than the first, which itself is by comparison markedly stronger. Thank you for the question. It has reminded me that when I speak of French vs. English stress in the future, I have to be more careful.
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cummings, spell, spelling, english, words, spellers, teachers, reading, read, reader