/ˌmiːdɪˈəʊkə/, /ˈmiːdɪˌəʊkə/

These two pronunciations differ only by apostrophe and comma. What do these signs mean and where can I listen to this difference? And another question about IPA - how can I tell where's the stress just by looking at IPA representation?

  • 1
    They are respectively used to indicate the primary and secondary stress. – user178049 May 27 '20 at 13:02
  • 1
    /ˌmiːdɪˈəʊkə/ is the pronunciation of 'mediocre' in British English. The syllable after the comma (,) has secondary stress while the syllable after the apostrophe (') has primary stress. Read the Wikipedia article provided by @user178049. In the first transcription, the first syllable has secondary stress while in the second transcription, the first syllable has primary stress. – Void May 27 '20 at 14:30

In IPA, those marks (not acutally apostrophe or comma) indicate primary and secondary stress. The "apostrophe" or ˈ precedes the primary stress, and the "comma" or ˌ comes before the syllable with secondary stress.

So /ˌmiːdɪˈəʊkə/ is mee-di-oh-ka but /ˈmiːdɪˌəʊkə/ is mee-di-oh-ka.

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