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Stress shifts

Many longer words in Dutch exhibit diverse stress patterns in different linguistic contexts, which are referred to as

Stress retraction as well as iambic reversal both refer to leftward shift of stress in comparison to a default position, which is commonly identified as the position of stress in isolated words; they usually take place in attributive position, whereas realizations in predicative position / isolation do not show the reversal. The two terms do not indicate two different types of shift but serve to differentiate the strength of the relevant generalization: while stress retraction refers to obligatory stress shifts, iambic reversal is optional and often used as a rhetorical device (Gussenhoven 1983,1984).

Trochaic reversal occurs when word stress in a weak second constituent of a nominal compound is realized further to the right than in the pronunciation of the respective constituent as an isolated word. Unlike stress retraction and iambic reversal, trochaic reversal occurs independently of the position of the word in a phrase.

  • Gussenhoven, Carlos1983Stress shifts as a rhetorical deviceLinguistics21603-619
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos1984On the grammar and semantics of sentence accentsDordrechtForis