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Secondary stress in quadrisyllabic words
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Quadrisyllabic words always have a secondary stress, the position of which depends on the location of the primary stress. If the penultimate syllable carries primary stress, secondary stress is always on the initial syllable. Quadrisyllabic words with antepenultimate primary stress are rare. Most of them end in the sequence -ija, which usually avoids primary stress; secondary stress is on the final syllable. If quadrisyllabic words have final primary stress, secondary stress is on the first syllable in most cases.

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[+] General information and examples

Quadrisyllabic words with primary stress on the penultimate syllable always have secondary stress on the initial syllable, in accordance with both the Alternating Stress Principle and the Hammock Principle. Examples are given in (1):

Example 1

avokado [ˌav.vo:.ˈka:.do:] avocado
makaroany [ˌmak.kar.'roə.ni] macaroni
cappuccino [ˌkap.pu.'tsji.no:] cappuccino
ravioli [ˌrav.vi.ˈjo:.li] ravioli
alligator [ˌal.li.ˈɡa:.tɔr] alligator

Quadrisyllabic words with antepenultimate stress are rare. Most of them end in the sequence -ija, which usually avoids primary stress (see High-vowel-plus-homorganic-glide-restriction). Secondary stress falls on the final syllable, so that the Alternating Stress Principle is obeyed. Examples are given in (2):

Example 2

magnoalia [maɣ.'noə.li.ˌja] magnolia
ammoania [am.'moə.ni.ˌja] ammonia
tarantula [tar.ˈran.ty.ˌla] tarantula
malaria [mal.ˈla:.ri.ˌja] malaria

Additionally, there are some toponyms and Hebrew names with the same stress pattern as the words in (2), examples of which can be found in (3):

Example 3

Turkmenistan [tørk.'me:.ni.ˌstan] Turkmenistan
Oezbekistan [uz.ˈbe:.ki.ˌstan] Uzbekistan
Afganistan [av.ˈɡa:.ni.ˌstan] Afghanistan
Jeruzalim [jə.'ry.zal.ˌlɪm] Jerusalem
Metusalim [me:.'ty.zal.ˌlɪm] Methuselah

Quadrisyllabic words with final primary stress usually have secondary stress on the first syllable, thus obeying the Hammock Principle. Examples are given in (4):

Example 4

lokomotyf [ˌlo:.ko:.mo:.ˈtif] locomotive
fonology [ˌfo:.no:.lo:.ˈɡi] phonology
etymolooch [ˌe:.ti.mo:.ˈlo:x] etimologist
dominikaan [ˌdo:.mi.ni.ˈka:n] dominican
[+] Debate

The above-mentioned regularity that quadrisyllabic words with final primary stress usually have secondary stress on the first syllable is not without exceptions. A few derived words have secondary stress on the second instead of the initial syllable. This is the syllable carrying the primary stress in the base words. Examples are given in (5):

Example 5

piraterij [pi.ˌra:.tə.ˈrɛi] piracy (base word: piraat [pi.ˈra:t] pirate )
grammatikaal [ɡram.ˌmat.ti.ˈka:l] grammatical (base word: grammatika [ɡram.ˈma:.ti.ˌka] grammar )
kaleidoskoop [kal.ˌlɛj.do:.ˈsko:p] kaleidoscope (there is not a base word here)

As to Dutch, Kager (1989) argues that quadrisyllabic words may have secondary stress on the second syllable, provided the latter is closed; this constitutes a violation of the Hammock Principle. This pattern is also found in Frisian, see the example in (6):

Example 6

aristokraat [ar.ˌrɪs.to:.'kra:t] aristocrat (next to: aristokraat [ˌar.rɪs.to:.'kra:t] )
References:
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
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