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The closed penult restriction
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In words with two or more syllables, primary stress cannot skip the penultimate syllable if that syllable is closed (for literature on the Dutch system, see Visch and Kager (1984), Kager (1989), and Gussenhoven (2009)). This is called the Closed Penult Restriction.

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The Closed Penult Restriction is formulated as follows (along the lines of Kager (1989)):

Closed penult restriction
Main stress cannot occur further to the left than on the penultimate syllable, if this penultimate syllable is closed.
Thus, in words like agindaagenda and rododendronrhododendron, primary stress cannot be further to the left than the penultimate, so that antepenultimate stress is excluded:

Example 1

aginda [aɡ.'ɡɪn.da] [*'aɡ.ɡɪn.da] [*aɡ.ɡɪn.'da]
rododendron [ro:.do:.'dɛn.dron] [*'ro:.do:.dɛn.dron] [*ro.'do.dɛn.drɔn]

Notice that a closed penultimate does not necessarily attract stress, but only prevents movement of stress further to the left.

However, there are some counter-examples; they consist of words ending in superheavy syllables, which are strong attractors of stress themselves. Nearly without exception the stress pattern of these words is such that stress is on the final syllable. Furthermore, there are a few words with closed penults in which the final, open syllable with an A-class vowel or the final, closed syllable with a B-class vowel receives stress. Examples are given below:

Example 2

a. With a superheavy final syllable
      advokatuer [at.fo:.ka:.'tyər] legal profession
      simultaan [si.møl.'ta:n] simultaneous
b. With a final, open syllable with an A-class vowel
      enerzjy [e:.nɛr.'sji] energy
      frikandel [fri.kan.'dɛl] minced-meat hot dog
c. With a final, closed syllable with a B-class vowel
      bataljon [ba.tal.ˈjon] battalion
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x A-class and B-class vowels

According to most literature, Frisian has a symmetrical vowel system of nine short and nine corresponding long vowels, see (1) below (schwa omitted):

(1) The symmetrical vowel system according to tradition

Table 1
short vowels: a, ɛ, ɔ, ɪ, ø, o, i, y, u
long vowels: a:, ɛ:, ɔ:, e:, ø:, o:, i:, y:, u:

This traditional view has been challenged by De Haan (1999), who arrives at the asymmetrical classification in (2):

(2) the asymmetrical vowel system according to De Haan (1999):

Table 2
A-vowels: i, i:, y, y:, u, u:, e:, ø:, ɛ:, o:, ɔ:, a:
B-vowels: ɪ, ø, ɛ, o, ɔ, a

De Haan divides the vowels into two classes, the A-vowels and the B-vowels, a terminology which is neutral as to vowel length. The class of A-vowels not only comprises long vowels, but also the three short vowels /i/, /y/, and /u/. This means that all close vowels, whether they are long or short, belong to this class. An A-vowel is assumed to occupy two structural phonological positions, a B-vowel one. De Haan adduces several distributional arguments for the above classification, some of which are familiar from the phonological literature:

  • the A-vowels must occur in an open syllable, the B-vowels in a closed one;
  • the A-vowels may occur word-finally, the B-vowels must not;
  • in word-final position, the A-vowels can be followed by no more than one non-coronal consonant, the B-vowels can be followed by two such consonants;
  • the velar nasal /ŋ/ can only be preceded by a B-vowel;
  • there is a tendency for A-vowels to precede a voiced fricative, whereas B-vowels tend to be followed by a voiceless fricative.
More details about the system of A-class and B-class vowels in Frisian can be found in Long and short monophthongs: a different view.

References:
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos2009Vowel duration, syllable quantity and stress in DutchThe nature of the word. Essays in honor of Paul KiparskyCambridge, MA.; LondonMIT Press181--198
  • Haan, Germen J. de1999Frisian monophthongs and syllable structureUs Wurk4819-30
  • Haan, Germen J. de1999Frisian monophthongs and syllable structureUs Wurk4819-30
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
  • Visch, Ellis & Kager, René1984Syllable weight and Dutch word stressBennis, H. & Lessen Kloeke, W. van (eds.)Linguistics in the Netherlands10Benjamins
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