Novv just as rhythm is an indispensable element of poetry, it is found in words, i. e. we have a regular alternation of strest and unstrest syllables. It is common to say that in the word
the third syllable (-os) has the stress. W'hen we listen attentively we shall find that this syllabe has indeed the main stress, but also that the lst and 5th syllables have a certain, though less amount of, emphasis not to be heard on the 2nd and 4th: Thus
In most English words there is a regular alternation of a strest and an unstrest syllable. Sometimes, however, the strest returns after two unstrest ones, e. g. in many substantives ending in at ion,
Let it further be remembered (See § 119 ff) that in a strest syllable we can have an e-sound or an ë> sound, but as a rule no t-sound, which is found regularly in unstrest syllables.
Keturning to the rule stated in § 28, we find:
a) pres'ent e strong-strest = e.
b) rebel' e unstrest = i.
c) recollect' main-stress on third, secondary
stress on lst; e = as in pres'ent e.