An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences
Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker
IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066
CiteScore 2018: 0.97
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409
Word length and the location of primary word stress in Dutch, German, and English
This study addresses the extent to which the location of primary stress in Dutch, German, and English monomorphemic words is affected by the syllables preceding the three final syllables. We present analyses of the monomorphemic words in the CELEX lexical database, which showed that penultimate primary stress is less frequent in Dutch and English trisyllabic than quadrisyllabic words. In addition, we discuss paper-and-pencil experiments in which native speakers assigned primary stress to pseudowords. These experiments provided evidence that in all three languages penultimate stress is more likely in quadrisyllabic than in trisyllabic words. We explain this length effect with the preferences in these languages for word-initial stress and for alternating patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables. The experimental data also showed important intra- and interspeaker variation, and they thus form a challenging test case for theories of language variation.
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