The Latin term syllăba it is the etymological antecedent of syllable , a concept that mentions phonological units They make up a word. This means that the syllables are sounds that, by means of an articulation, form the same phonic nucleus, which can be distinguished from the others from the depressions of the voice.
He adjective unstressed , meanwhile, refers to what is unaccented : its pronunciation lacks a prosodic accent (the relief given to pronunciation to give it more intensity).
A unstressed syllable , in short, it is a syllable that has no prosodic accent . If we focus on one word anyone, the stressed syllable It will be the tonic syllable , while the rest will be unstressed syllables. It can be said, in this way, that words are formed by tonic syllables and unstressed syllables.
Take the example of the word "condolence". It is a word trisílaba since it has three syllables: pé - sa - me. The syllable pé it is the tonic syllable because the prosodic accent falls on it and, according to the spelling rules, also the accent mark . Instead, sa and me They are unstressed syllables.
The orthography it also analyzes how the unstressed syllables and the tonic syllables are distributed to determine if a word is overdrive , esdrújula , serious (also called flat) or sharp . In the case of example previous, "condolence" it is a word esdrújula , since its tonic syllable (accentuated) is the antepenultimate one. In our language, all words with a prosodic accent in the last to last syllable carry tilde (that is, all the words esdrújulas are written with tilde).
Due to a growing lack of interest in writing and its rules, society is gradually losing contact with this and other notions that are very important to correctly understand the language . Nobody confuses the words "I bought" and "buy" when speaking, but many people do it when writing, since the use of the tilde is increasingly rare in daily communication, which includes the different instant messaging systems and the email.
In order to understand in depth the concept of unstressed syllable it is absolutely necessary, first, to have internalized that of accent ; in fact, both depend on each other to make sense. However, if someone decides to ignore them, or if, due to the characteristics of their education, they never meet them, they lose a large number of opportunities to elaborate complex written messages and, why not, to enrich your oral communication with certain subtleties that are only noticeable to those who speak the language.
Compared to other languages, such as English or even Italian, Spanish has a spelling accent system that allows us to guess the correct pronunciation of a word unknown to us infallibly. In other words, if we learn correctly in what cases a word carries tilde according to whether it is acute, severe or overdrive, as well as to recognize if we are facing a squeeze, then we can read properly any term of our language, something that does not occur in any of the two mentioned above.
This is not easy, but the reward of being able to use language at an advanced level is very tempting. Thanks to knowing these rules, with their exceptions and special cases, it is possible to create speeches complex, play with words and develop ideas that exceed the limits of spelling. In addition, in certain cases the stress can be reversed to emphasize a term; For example, the following sentence the word "goodbye" should be read with the accent in 'a': "I said to -bye and no, 'oh god' ".