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Stress shifts in loanwords

Though the large majority of loanwords hold on to the stress pattern of the words in the source language, there are cases where stress shifts have taken place. The latter have systematically been described for Dutch in Gaarenstroom (1897:77-84); more data can be found in Booij (1977), Booij (1995), van Lessen Kloeke (1973), van Marle (1980), and Kager (1989). Loanwords enter Frisian through mediation of Dutch, so the regularities found for Dutch also hold for Frisian (most of the time, in any case).

[+]Systematic stress shifts in French loanwords

French words ending in -ion have final stress, their Frisian counterparts, ending in -y /i/, have penultimate stress:

Table 1
French stress pattern (U) Frisian stress pattern (PU) English translation
communi'on kommuny /kom.'my.ni/ communion
Note that not all loanwords ending in /i/ ( y) have penultimate stress in Frisian. The ones which end in stressed /i/ ( ie) in French also have final stress in Frisian.
Table 2
French stress pattern (U) Frisian stress pattern (U) English translation
allego'rie allegory /al.lə.ɡoə.'ri/ allegory
anar'chie anarchy /an.nar.'ɡi/ anarchy
anato'mie anatomy /an.na:.to:.'mi/ anatomy
ener'gie enerzjy /e:.nɛr.'sji/ energy
jalou'sie jaloezy /jal.lu.'si/ jealousy
melancho'lie melangoly /me:.laŋ.ɡoə.'li/ melancholy
melo'die melody /me:.lo:.'di/ melody
prophe'tie profesy /pro:.fe:.'tsi/ prophecy
Members of the group of words which end in /i/ in both Frisian and French may also have the original Latin stress pattern, with penultimate stress:

Table 3
French stress pattern (PU, Latin) Frisian stress pattern (PU) English translation
aca'demie akademy /ak.ka:.'de:.mi/ academy
[+]Other stress shifts

In the literature on stress in Dutch, several authors make mention of (more or less) frequent stress shifts in loanwords. That is, speakers may stress the 'wrong' syllable of (the notion 'wrong' referring to the placement of primary stress on syllables other than those that are generally considered to be the correct location of primary stress). Examples of such stress shifts are mentioned below. It should be noted that this overview is not based on systematic corpus research, but on observations by the authors; in order to confirm or disconfirm the patterns, therefore, additional research is needed.

Stress shifts from the final syllable to the penult:

Table 4
Original pattern Shifted pattern
autopsy /ɔw.tɔp.'si/ autopsy /ɔw.ˈtɔp.si/
epilepsy /e:.pi.lɛp.'si/ epilepsy /e:.pi.ˈlɛp.si/
tampon /tam.'pon/ tampon /ˈtam.pon/
narsis /nar.'sɪs/ narcissus /ˈnar.sɪs/
diftong /dɪf.'toŋ/ diphthong /ˈdɪf.toŋ/
Stress shifts from the antepenult to the penult:
Table 5
Original pattern Shifted pattern
katalogus /kat.'ta:.lo:.ɣøs/ catalog /ka.tal.ˈlo:.ɣəs/
normaliter /nɔr.'ma:.li.tɛr/ normally /nɔr.mal.ˈli.tər/
badminton /'bɛt.mən.ton/ badminton /bɛt.ˈmɪn.ton/
eksodus /'ɛk.so:.døs/ exodus /ɛk.ˈso:.dəs/
Stress shifts from the final syllable to the antepenult:
Table 6
Original pattern Shifted pattern
karnaval /kar.naf.'fal/ carnival /ˈkar.naf.fal/
sjarlatan /sjar.lat.'tan/ charlatan /ˈsjar.lat.tan/

  • Booij, Geert1977Boundaries and the phonology of Dutchal., Wolfgang U. Dressler et (ed.)Phonologica 1976InnsbruckInstitut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Innsbruck59-63
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Gaarenstroom, J.H1897De klemtoon in de Nederlandsche taalCulemborgBlom & Olivierse
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
  • Lessen Kloeke, W.U. S. van1973Dutch Word StressLinguistics in the Netherlands 1972-1973Assen/Amsterdam222--236
  • Marle, Jaap van1980The Stress Patterns of Dutch Simplex Words: A First ApproximationDutch StudiesSpringer79-121