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English Pronunciation News: Evidence in Murder Trial

Watch the video and read the news for 6/17/2011. This news report focuses on word stress. Learn the news and study American English pronunciation. Read other English pronunciation news reports.

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In the Casey Anthony murder trial going on in Orlando, Florida, the prosecution is building its case based on circumstantial evidence. This is because the medical examiner listed the death as a "homicide by undetermined means." The prosecution states that Casey Anthony is an accomplished liar. They ask the questions: "if she is not guilty, why was the daughter's body found in a bag in the woods, and why was there duct tape across her lower jaw as if it had once been on her mouth?" The prosecution states that these are red flags. However, the examiner found no broken bones on the body, and the defense only has to create reasonable doubt in the mind of one juror.

Study the Words

Stress important information in American English. Important information is usually in the form of a noun at the beginning of a story or conversation. However, always stress the first word in a set phrase. In a set phrase, two words always form one meaning or are used together almost all the time. Other examples of set phrases are: "light bulb" and "blue jeans."

Set Phrases
Sound and Meaning
duct tape
(DUK-tape): large, gray tape often used for electrical problems
red flag
(RED-flag): idiom meaning that a warning is indicated
broken bones
(BRO-ken-bones): common bodily injury
reasonable doubt
(REE-zun-u-bul-dout): legal term meaning there is doubt because the evidence does not prove the case

Regular Phrases
Sound and Meaning
undetermined means
(UN-de-ter-mind MEENS): the method is unknown
circumstantial evidence
(CIR-cum-stan-shul EV-i-dens): evidence that is not direct
accomplished liar
(uh-Kahm-plisht LI-yer): a very good liar; one who has lied in the past without the lie becoming known

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Intonation: Rule 5

Intonation: All Rules

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