• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Words with A-class vowels in open final syllables have penultimate primary stress
quickinfo

Many longer words have penultimate stress. Stress attraction to the penultimate syllable is particularly strong when the penultimate syllable is closed or contains a diphthong (though, according to the diphthong restriction, diphthongs in the final syllable are strong stress attractors as well). A preference for penultimate stress, however, can also be found in cases where both the penult and the final syllable are open and contain A-class vowels.

readmore
[+] Disyllabic words

The preference for penultimate stress manifests itself most clearly in disyllabic words of the structure A-A (where penultimate stress amounts to stress on the first syllable). Examples are given in (1) below:

Example 1

Penultimate primary stress in words of the structure A-A
bruto ['bry.to:] gross
goeroe ['ɡu:.ru] guru
pizza ['pi.dza] pizza
saga ['sa:.ɣa] saga
[hide extra information]
x

The word goeroeguru has been transcribed as /'ɡu:.ru/, with the A-vowel [u:]; in this position, preceding /r/, however, the latter is realized as the centring diphthong [uə].

There are also disyllabic words of the structure A-A with primary stress on the final syllable; see the examples in (2) below:

Example 2

Final primary stress in words of the structure A-A
klisjee [kli.'sje] cliché
rosee [ro:.'se] rosé wine
taboe [tab.'bu] taboo
[+] Trisyllabic words

In trisyllabic words of the structure A-A-A, their is a slight preference for penultimate stress over antepenultimate and final stress. Examples of all three stress patterns are given in (3)-(5) below:

Example 3

Penultimate primary stress in words of structure A-A-A
arena [ar.'re:.na] arena
kasino [kas.'si.no:] casino
opiny [o:.'pi.ni] opinion
Example 4

Antepenultimate stress in words of structure A-A-A
animo ['a:.ni.mo:] animo
aliby ['a:.li.bi] alibi
kolibry ['ko:.li.bri] hummingbird
patina ['pa:.ti.na] patina
fideo ['fi.di.jo:] video
Example 5

Final primary stress in words of structure A-A-A
kalory [kal.lo:.'ri] calory
frikando [fri.kan.'do:] fricandeau
teory [te:.jo:.'ri] theory
parody [par.ro:.'di] parody
[+] Quadrisyllabic words

In quadrisyllabic words of the structure A-A-A-A, penultimate stress is not the most frequent pattern. In accordance with the Three Syllable Window, stress can only fall on one of the last three syllables of a word, hence the first syllable of A-A-A-A-words is not expected to bear stress. Examples of all three possible stress patterns are given in (6)-(8) below:

Example 6

Antepenultimate primary stress in words of the structure A-A-A-A
akasia [ak.'ka:.si.ja] Acacia
alinea [al.'li.ni.ja] paragraph
Example 7

Penultimate primary stress in words of the structure A-A-A-A
avokado [av.vo:.'ka:.do:] avocado
oregano [o:.re:.'ɡa:.no:] oregano
ravioaly [rav.vi.'jo:.li] ravioli
diorama [di.jo:.'ra:.ma] diorama
[hide extra information]
x

The word oreganooregano has been transcribed as /o:.re:.'ɡa:.no:/, with the A-vowel [o:]; in this position, preceding /r/, however, the latter is mostly realized as the centring diphthong [oə]. In much the same vein, ravioalyravioli has been transcribed as /rav.vi.'jo:.li/, with the A-vowel [o:]; the latter, however, is in a stressed position, where it is realized as the centring diphthong [oə], as is also clear from the spelling <oa>.

Example 8

Final primary stress in words of the structure A-A-A-A
anatomy /an.na:.to:.'mi/ anatomy
anomaly [an.no:.ma:.'li] anomaly
demokrasy [de:.mo:.kra:.'si] democracy
demografy [de:.mo:.ɡra:.'fi] demography
[hide extra information]
x

Words like taboe/tab.'bu/taboo, kasino/kas.'sino:/casino and anatomy/an.na:.to:.'mi/anatomy have a first syllable with the (short) B-vowel /a/ (see Long and short monophthongs: a different view). The shortness of the syllable ensuing from this, however, may be 'compensated for' by the ambisyllabicity of the consonant following the vowel (as indicated in the transcriptions), which renders such words in accordance with the structure A-A-(A-(A)).

References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print