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Secondary stress in words of five syllables

Depending on the location of the primary stress, pentasyllabic words can have one or two secondary stresses. If the main stress is on the penultimate, there will be one secondary stress, located on the first syllable. If primary stress is on the ultimate or the antepenultimate syllable, there will be two secondary stresses (on the odd-numbered syllables).


Five-syllable words with penultimate primary stress have secondary stress on the initial syllable.

Example 1

realisatie [ˌre.ja.li.ˈza.tsi] realisation
organisatie [ˌɔr.ɣa.ni.ˈza.tsi] organisation
Guatemala [ˌgu.ʋa.tə.ˈma.la] Guatemala
Herzegovina [ˌhɛr.tsə.go.ˈvi.na] Herzegovina
abracadabra [ˌa.bra.ka.ˈda.bra] abracadabra

Words with final stress have two secondary stresses, one on the first syllable, and another one on the third syllable. Consider the following examples:

Example 2

endokrinoloog [ˌɛn.do.ˌkri.no.ˈlox] endocrinologist
methodologie [ˌme.to.ˌdo.lo.ˈɣi] methodology
parallelogram [ˌpa.ra.ˌlɛ.lo.ˈɣram] parallelogram
onomatopee [ˌo.no.ˌma.to.ˈpe] onomatopoeia
communicatief [ˌkɔ.my.ˌni.ka.ˈtif] communicative

Five-syllable words with antepenultimate primary stress are rare; in such words, secondary stresses are on the first as well as on the last syllable (on the assumption that the last syllable can carry secondary stress). Most relevant examples are words ending in a sequence of a high vowel followed by a homorganic glide, which often avoid primary stress:

Example 3

cafétaria [ˌkɑ.fe.ˈta.ri.ˌja] cafeteria
aluminium [ˌa.ly.ˈmi.ni.ˌjʏm] aluminum
pandemonium [ˌpɑn.de.ˈmo.ni.ˌjʏm] pandemonium
Nicaragua [ˌni.ka.ˈra.gu.ˌʋa] Nicaragua
Micronesië [ˌmi.kro.ˈne.zi.ˌjə] Micronesie
honoraria [ˌho.no.ˈra.ri.ˌja] honoraria