The meaning of any utterance is largely conditioned by the situation and context in which it occurs. So freedom of accentual patterning and especially the placement of the primary accent is always curtailed by the constraints imposed by the context. In the case of an opening remark, or when a new topic is introduced into a conversation, there is very limited scope for variation of meaning produced by accentuation. Rather more accentual freedom is possible in responses; thus, in response to the statement She came last WEEK, an incredulous reaction might have the pattern LAST week? (i.e. 'Wasn't it the week before that?') or Last WEEK? (i.e. 'Don't you mean last month?'); or, in response to What was the WEATHER like?, the reply might be It rained every DAY (emphasising the continuous nature ofthe rain) or It RAINED every day! (where the fact ofraining is emphasised). On the other hand much less accentual variation is possible in the following dialogue (potential accents marked by capitals):
Did you have a good HOLIDAY? YES, VERY good Was the WEATHER all right?