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Stress shifts

Complex words may or may not exhibit a leftward shift of stress in comparison to a default stress position, which is commonly identified as the location of stress in isolated words. With adjectives, stress shift is typically confined to the attributive position, whereas the predicative position does not induce it. Stress shift is an instance of either stress retraction or iambic reversal. These terms do not indicate two different types of stress shift, but serve to differentiate the strength of the relevant generalization: while stress retraction is obligatory, iambic reversal is optional and is often used as a rhetorical device.


For the details of stress shift, see the following two topics: