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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Beatriz: Bienvenidos a Spanishpod101.com. Buenos días, me llamo Beatriz.
Joseph: Joseph here. Spanish Phonetic Series, Lesson 7 – “Accentuation – Part 2”
Beatriz: Hola amigos. I am Beatriz and I’m here with Joseph. Hola Joseph. Buenos días
Joseph: Muy buenos días, Beatriz. Hello and welcome to the seventh lesson of the Spanish Phonetic Series at Spanishpod101.com. This is the place to learn how the Spanish language is correctly pronounced. We’ll walk you through the basics of Spanish pronunciation…
Beatriz: Pronunciación.
Joseph: Intonation…
Beatriz: Entonación.
Joseph: Inflexion…
Beatriz: Inflexión.
Joseph: And spelling.
Beatriz: Y ortografía.
Joseph: So, that you start the learning process off with solid foot in. Learning the way that the Spanish language sounds, will make the rest of the learning process a lot easier.
Beatriz: So, join us for this lesson of Spanishpod101.
LESSON FOCUS
Joseph: In our last Phonetics Lesson, we had our first look at accentuation in Spanish. And we studied the first two categories of words, which were...
Beatriz: Las palabras agudas y las palabras llanas.
Joseph: That’s right. Today, we’re going to cover the other two categories of words, which are...
Beatriz: Las palabras esdrújulas y las palabras sobresdrújulas.
Joseph: After that, we’ll talk a little bit about some common mistakes among students learning Spanish accentuation. And then we’ll finish the lesson with some practice, giving examples of these palabras esdrújulas y sobresdrújulas. Also, while you’re at our site Spanishpod101.com, be sure to check out the Learning Center, where you’ll find some really useful reference material which will help you drive home the grammar taught in our lessons. Today, as we said, we’re going to continue with our study of accentuation.
Beatriz: La acentuación.
Joseph: That’s right. Now, last time we learned that we can divide words in Spanish into four categories for the purpose of understanding how the syllables are stressed.
Beatriz: Y esas categorías son las palabras agudas, las palabras llanas, las palabras esdrújulas y las palabras sobreesdrújulas.
Joseph: Así es. And we learned that las palabras agudas or the oxitones, are those which have a prosodic accent on the final syllable, as in...
Beatriz: “Frijol”.
Joseph: “Jol”, “frijol”. Right. So, we can see that the accent falls on the last syllable here. And don’t confuse a prosodic accent with an emphatic or graphic accent. Prosodic accents don’t necessarily require a graphic accent. Also, last time we learned about las palabras llanas or the poroxitones. And these are the words that have an accent on the second to last syllable, as in...
Beatriz: “Caballo”.
Joseph: “Caballo”. That’s right. And here, we see that the accent falls on the second to last syllable. “-ba”, “caballo”.
Beatriz: “Caballo”.
Joseph: Great. So, today, we’re going to move ahead and look at the third and fourth categories. Let’s begin with las palabras esdrújulas. Beatriz, would you, please, tell us, what una palabra esdrújula is?
Beatriz: Bueno, una palabra esdrújula es la que lleva el acento prosódico en la antepenúltima sílaba.
Joseph: Now, that’s not so hard. So, una palabra esdrújula, is simply a word that has a prosodic accent on the third to last syllable. In linguistics, the technical term is proporoxitone. But don’t let this big word scare you. I just want to mention it for those students who are familiar with linguistics. Again, all it means is that the third to last syllable receives the accent. Also, for old esdrújula and sobreesdrújula words, the syllable that receives the prosodic accent also receives a graphic accent. Beatriz, ¿puedes darnos un ejemplo de una palabra esdrújula? Can you give us an example, please?
Beatriz: Of course. “Murciélago”, “mur-cié-la-go”.
Joseph: “Murciélago”. So, here, we see that the word has four syllables and it’s the second one which has the accent. And because there’re four, the second syllable is the third to last. Beatriz, how about one more example?
Beatriz: “Miércoles”, “miér-co-les”.
Joseph: “Miércoles”. So, this time, the word has three syllables. In this case, it’s the first syllable which is accented, again, because it’s got to be the third to last, for las palabras esdrújulas. Ok. Now, let’s move on to the last category of words in our study of accentuation. These are las palabras sobreesdrújulas. Beatriz, could you please tell us what these are?
Beatriz: Ok. Las palabras sobreesdrújulas son las que llevan el acento prosódico en una sílaba anterior a la antepenúltima.
Joseph: Ok. So, these have a prosodic accent before the third to last. It could be the fourth to last syllable, or another syllable before that. Beatriz, how about an example?
Beatriz: “Cómpraselo”, “cóm-pra-se-lo”.
Joseph: “Cómpraselo”. So, in this case, we see that the word has four syllables and it’s the first one which has the accent. Now, to finish up with this explanation, Beatriz, can you give us an example of una palabra sobreesdrújula that is accented on the fifth to last syllable?
Beatriz: Ok. A ver, a ver… “llévesemela”, “llé-ve-se-me-la”.
Joseph: “Llévesemela”. Wow. Good example. So, here, we have a five syllable word. “Llévesemela”. Notice how here it’s the first of five syllables that receives the accent. So, again, for las palabras sobreesdrújulas, the accent just has to be before the third to last syllable.
Beatriz: Otro punto importante es que en español sólo son sobreesdrújulas las palabras compuestas de una forma verbal y de dos o tres pronombres enclíticos.
Joseph: That’s right. In Spanish, the only sobreesdrújula words are composed of a verbal form and two or three attached pronouns or enclitic pronouns. Muy bien. Ok. Now let’s talk about some common mistakes related to accentuation in Spanish. Beatriz, last time we talked about how it’s common for students who are new to Spanish to accentuate a syllable that normally doesn’t receive it.
Beatriz: Así es. Y como ya hemos dicho, aún así se podría entender.
Joseph: That’s right. As you point out, we also said that even when this mistake is made, the word is often still understandable. However, we also said that mispronouncing the word like this, increases your chance of being misunderstood.
Beatriz: Right.
Joseph: So, today, we’re looking at las palabras esdrújulas y sobreesdrújulas which necessarily have to have at least three or four syllables. So, I imagine that it’s even more challenging to get the pronunciation right with these.
Beatriz: Yes, I think so. Mientras más sílabas tenga una palabra, más difícil resulta al pronunciarla.
Joseph: Good point. So, the more syllables that a word has, the harder it is to pronounce.
Beatriz: Es aplicar la pronunciación de un idioma nativo a las palabras españolas.
Joseph: I think that’s a very good point. As you say, Beatriz, another common mistake is to apply the pronunciation of one language to words in Spanish.
Beatriz: Claro. I know that this happens to me a lot in English.
Joseph: Yes, it’s really hard to avoid. And it’s a strange thing because even when you’re completely fluent in Spanish or any language, for that matter, if you spend a lot of time in a place where they speak English or some other language, some of that pronunciation will undoubtedly find its way into your Spanish. It’s really difficult.
Beatriz: Así es.
Joseph: For example, consider the word “abundante” which means “abundant”. Now, in Spanish, if we break it down syllable by syllable we get “a-bun-dan-te”. And we see that this is a palabra llana because the prosodic accent is on the second to last syllable. And because there are four syllables, the accent falls on the third.
Beatriz: “Abundante”.
Joseph: Right. Now, in English, the word only has three syllables: “a-bun-dant”. And it’s still llana because the prosodic accent falls on the second to last syllable, but now the syllable in English is different from the syllable in Spanish. So, for native English speakers it’s easy to make the mistake and pronounce “abundante” as “abúndante” because in English we say “abundant”. And conversely for native Spanish speakers, it’s easy to make the mistake and pronounce “abundant” as “abundant” because in Spanish we say “abundante”.
Beatriz: I think I always say “accent” instead of “accent”.
Joseph: That’s a really good point. And in Spanish we say “acento”, but in English we say “accent”. So, you can see that the stress falls on a different syllable and because the words are similar, the Spanish and the English words, it’s really easy to confuse.
Beatriz: I think that’s really funny.
Joseph: Yes, it’s really hard to avoid. It’s really inevitable, you know, when you’re speaking a couple of languages.
Beatriz: Yes, yes, yes.
Joseph: Ok. Now we’re going to do some practice.
Beatriz: La práctica.
Joseph: So, today, we’ll give examples of las palabras esdrújulas y las palabras sobreesdrújulas. Today, let’s start out with las palabras esdrújulas which have the prosodic accent on the third to last syllable. Beatriz, just like last time, why don’t you begin by giving us an example? Then, I’ll say how many syllables the word has. And after that, you can break it down syllable by syllable, and finally we’ll repeat it at normal speed. Sound good?
Beatriz: Very good.
Joseph: Ok. So, the first palabra esdrújula that we’ll look at is...
Beatriz: “Énfasis”.
Joseph: And this word has three syllables, so the prosodic accent falls on the first, which is the third to last.
Beatriz: “Én-fa-sis”.
Joseph: “Énfasis”.
Beatriz: “Énfasis”.
Joseph: Great. Now, the next palabra esdrújula is...
Beatriz: “Lógico”.
Joseph: Again, this word has three syllables, so accordingly, the prosodic accent falls on the first, which is the third to last.
Beatriz: “Ló-gi-co”.
Joseph: “Lógico”.
Beatriz: “Lógico”.
Joseph: Muy bien. Now, the next palabra esdrújula is...
Beatriz: “Luciérnaga”.
Joseph: This time the word has four syllables and so, the prosodic accent falls on the second syllable, which is the third to last.
Beatriz: “Lu-ciér-na-ga”.
Joseph: “Luciérnaga”.
Beatriz: “Luciérnaga”.
Joseph: Great. Now, the next palabra esdrújula that we’re going to look at is...
Beatriz: “Estúpido”.
Joseph: And again, the word has four syllables, so just like the last example, the prosodic accent falls on the second, which is the third to last.
Beatriz: “Es-tú-pi-do”.
Joseph: “Estúpido”.
Beatriz: “Estúpido”.
Joseph: Ok. And the last palabra esdrújula that we’re going to look at is...
Beatriz: “Parasítico”.
Joseph: This time, the word has five syllables. So, the prosodic accent falls on the third syllable, which is the third to last.
Beatriz: “Pa-ra-sí-ti-co”.
Joseph: “Parasítico”.
Beatriz: “Parasítico”.
Joseph: Ok. And we want to remember that all of the prosodic accents for "palabras esdrújulas" also receive a graphic accent. Muy bien. Now, let’s move on with las palabras sobresdrújulas which have a prosodic accent on a syllable before the third to last. Ok. The first palabra sobresdrújula that we’ll look at is...
Beatriz: “Pasándomela”.
Joseph: This word has five syllables and the prosodic accent falls on the second syllable which is the fourth to last.
Beatriz: “Pa-sán-do-me-la”.
Joseph: “Pasándomela”.
Beatriz: “Pasándomela”.
Joseph: Great. The next palabra sobresdrújula is...
Beatriz: “Diciéndomelo”.
Joseph: This word has five syllables and just like the last example, the prosodic accent falls on the second syllable which is the fourth to last.
Beatriz: “Di-cién-do-me-lo”.
Joseph: “Diciéndomelo”.
Beatriz: “Diciéndomelo”.
Joseph: Great. Now, the next palabra sobresdrújula is...
Beatriz: “Acércamela”.
Joseph: Again, this word has five syllables and just like the last two examples, the prosodic accent falls on the second syllable which is the fourth to last.
Beatriz: “A-cér-ca-me-la”.
Joseph: “Acércamela”.
Beatriz: “Acércamela”.
Joseph: Excellent. Now, the next palabra sobresdrújula that we’re going to look at is...
Beatriz: “Escribiéndoselo”.
Joseph: This time, the word has six syllables and the prosodic accent falls on the third which is the fourth to last.
Beatriz: “Es-cri-bién-do-se-lo”.
Joseph: “Escribiéndoselo”.
Beatriz: “Escribiéndoselo”.
Joseph: All right. This brings us to the last palabra sobresdrújula which is...
Beatriz: “Llévesemela”.
Joseph: This time, the word has five syllables and the prosodic accent falls on the first syllable which is the fifth to last. Remember, with palabras sobreesdrújulas, the prosodic accent falls on a syllable that is before the third to last, but not necessarily the fourth to last.
Beatriz: “Llé-ve-se-me-la”.
Joseph: “Llévesemela”.
Beatriz: “Llévesemela”.
OUTRO
Joseph: Great. Well, this just about wraps up today’s lesson. Be sure to check out our regional blogs coming from Madrid and la Ciudad de México. And don’t forget to check out the Newbie Series where you can learn the fundamentals of Spanish. You’d be surprised how far little Spanish can go. Ok, until next time!
Beatriz: ¡Nos vemos! ¡Hasta la próxima!

5 Comments

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SpanishPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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So, now that you've learned how to pronounce "palabras agudas, llanas, esdrújulas and sobresdrújulas", which one's do you find most difficult?

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 10:28 am
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Hola Esteban,


It should be "chica" :grin:

Sorry about that.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Esteban
Saturday at 9:29 am
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Example from the expanded vocab section:


La chicha se acercó al chico.

"The girl got close to the boy."


Shouldn't it be "chicka" not "chichi"?

mariposa
Sunday at 10:09 pm
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very helpful, thank you.

can we say, that the prosodic accent falls normalmente on the second to last syllable for words ending with a vowel or "n" or "s" and on the last syllable for words ending with a consonant except "n" or "s"?

And that all words which don't follow that rule have to receive a graphic accent?


mariposa

SpanishPod101.com
Sunday at 6:14 am
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Accentuation - Part 1 was also just published. Thank you for your patience.