It ˈwasn’t exactly \/green, | but it ˈwas green\ish.
Indeed, this particular suffix sometimes gets treated as if it were an independent word.
A: Are you ready?
B: Ish. (= more or less)
There are other suffixes that firmly resist contrastive stressing.
A: You stole it!
B: I didn’t!
Logically, in this second example, you might expect B to accent the n’t part of didn’t. Indeed, it is possible to switch to the unweakened form of not and say I did not, placing the accent on not. This seems to happen regularly in Irish English, but in English English I think we generally prefer just to stick with didn’t, keeping the accent (illogically) on the did part.
B: aɪ ˈdɪdn̩t
What, then, do we do if we read aloud the following, which I came across in Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth? I retain the author’s italicization.
Even though it is not easy for human chemists to predict what change in protein shape will result from a particular genetic mutation, it is still a fact that once a mutation has occurred, the resulting change of protein shape will be in principle predictable.
Would you say that last word as pridɪktˈəbl̩? Or what?
Equally, I don’t see any easy way to accent the nonsyllabic suffix in
It’s not “corn” beef, it’s corned beef.
Perhaps kɔːnˈdə? No, I think you just have to slow down and articulate kɔːnd extremely clearly.