English is a stress-timed language, and stress is its basic rhythm unit. It consists ofword stress, phrase stress and sentence stress. It takes the alternating appearance of thestressed and unstressed syllables as a rhythm. As for English native speakers, the position ofthe stress and the contrast between the stressed and unstressed sounds are the major factorsfor them to identify words through listening. While Chinese is a syllable-timed language, sothe syllable is the basic unit. With respect to word stress, there are many differences betweenthese two languages, which will be mentioned in the following analysis. Chinese Englishmajors need to pay much attention to the differences when they acquire English word stress.Once they make mistakes on the stress, they cannot easily get the proper meaning. As aresult, it is very important to learn English word stress well.Modern Language Typology proposed by famous American linguist Greenberg in1960s has become a theoretical model that has a far-reaching influence on modernlinguistics. The theories in Modern Typology have been broadly applied to studies ofSecond Language Acquisition. Traditional Typology classifies the world languages from theperspective of morphology. While cross-language studies made by the modern LanguageTypology, based on many factors, try to find out the relations among them and build theLanguage Variation model that is universally applicable.
Markedness Differential Hypothesis theory (1977) and the Structural ConformityHypothesis Theory (1991) are proposed by Eckman and are very popular theories in thestudy of the second language acquisition. It is a part of the Theory of Language Typology.The former is used to find out the differences and similarities among languages and try touse them to explain some mistakes made by students during their acquisition; the lattershows that rules that are applied to primary language can also be applicable to the secondlanguage. In this paper, Markedness Differential Hypothesis is used to analyze the differentmarkednesses between Chinese and English stress and within English word stress rules, sothat it can be used to explain the mistakes made by Chinese English majors when theyacquire English word stress; the Structural Conformity Hypothesis Theory is used to explainthe reasons why their four-year acquisition do not agree with their grades.The acquisition of English word stress has been studied by some scholars. They mainlyfocus on attributing the mistakes to the effects of Chinese word stress, and few people payattention to different markedness degrees between Chinese and English word stress rules.Besides, some scholars carried on empirical studies, but subjects were chosen randomly andthey were not consistent. This paper studies the markeness degrees of the two languagesfrom the perspective of language typological markeness theory to explain mistakes made byChinese English majors and choose certain subje