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Stress in prepositional compounds

An adposition (a preposition or a postpositon) can combine with a verb (V), a preposition (P) or a reciprocal pronoun. The resulting compounds belong to different word categories.

[+]Compounds of a verb and an adposition

Examples of compounds consisting of a verb stem and a postposition are provided in (1). They have stress on the second constituent.

Example 1

flapút [[flap][út]] [flap.'yt] blabbermouth
fretop [[fret][op]] [frɛt.'op] glutton
blaaswei [[blaas][wei]] [bla:z.'vaj] an insignificant person
falom [[fal][om]] [fɔl.'om] ruin
krûpyn [[krûp][yn]] [krup.'in] poky little house; box bed
komôf [[kom][ôf]] [kom.'ɔ:] descent, origin
karút [[kar][út]] [kar.'yt] (free) choice

These compounds belong to the word category noun (N), so they are exocentric. They are likely to be cases of conversion of a separable (particle) verb or of the combination of a verb and a (fixed) preposition. Take, for instance, fretop glutton and flapút blabbermouth, which are related to the particle verb opfrette eat up, to devour and the verbal combination (wat) derút flappe say (things) in an unthoughtful way, respectively.

[+]Compounds of two prepositions

Compounds consisting of two prepositions, examples of which are provided in (2), have stress on the second constituent.

Example 2

efteryn [[efter][yn]] [ˌɛf.tər.'in] at the rear
boppe-oan [[boppe][oan]] [ˌbop.pə.'oən] on top of
foarút [[foar][út]] [fwar.'yt] in advance; forward
tuskentroch [[tusken][troch]] [ˌtøs.kən.'trox] in-between

These compounds function as adverbial adjuncts.

[+]Compounds consisting of a preposition and the reciprocal pronoun

There are compounds consisting of a preposition and the reciprocal pronoun. As the examples in (3) show, they have stress on the first constituent.

Example 3

mei-inoar [[mei][inoar]] ['maj.jə.ˌnwar] together
yninoar [[yn][inoar]] ['i.nn̩.ˌnwar] assembled
útinoar [[út][inoar]] ['y.tn̩.ˌnwar] apart, separated
trochinoar [[troch][inoar]] ['troɣ.ɣə.ˌnwar] muddled up

The combination of a preposition and the reciprocal pronoun functions as an adverbial adjunct. From a syntactic point of view, we have to do with phrases here, so we would expect phrase-final stress on the pronoun, as is the case in the Dutch counterparts. Stress, however, is on the preposition, which is an indication that these phrases function as compounds from a phonological point of view. The fact that yninoar assembled and útinoar apart, separated can contain a syllabic consonant ‒ a word phenomenon ‒ testifies to the tight phonological bond between the preposition and the pronoun. Also, it is not without significance that they are written as one word.