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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. Quadrisyllabic words in which the penultimate syllable carries primary stress always have secondary stress on the initial syllable.

Example 1

avocado [ˌa.vo.ˈka.do] avocado
macaroni [ˌma.ka.ˈro.ni] macaroni
cappucino [ˌkɑ.pu.ˈʧi.no] cappucino
ravioli [ˌra.vi.ˈjo.li] ravioli
alligator [ˌɑ.li.ˈɣa.tɔr] alligator

Quadrisyllabic words with antepenultimate stress are rare (see Stress pattern). Most of them are words ending in the sequence –ija, which usually avoids primary stress (see high vowel plus homorganic glide restriction). Secondary stress falls on the final syllable (given that there can be secondary stress to the right of the primary stress):

Example 2

magnolia [max.ˈno.li.ˌja] magnolia
camelia [kaˈme.li.ˌja] camellia
mandragora [mɑn.ˈdra.ɣo.ˌra] mandragora
tarantula [ta.ˈrɑn.ty.ˌla] tarantula
gardenia [ɣɑr.ˈde.ni.ˌja] gardenia

Additionally, there are some toponyms and Hebrew names with antepenultimate primary stress and final secondary stress (on the assumption that there can be secondary stress to the right of the primary stress), as for instance:

Example 3

Turkmenistan [tʏrk.ˈme.ni.ˌstɑn] Turkmenistan
Oezbekistan [uz.ˈbe.ki.ˌstɑn] Uzbekistan
Afghanistan [ɑf.ˈxa.ni.ˌstɑn] Afghanistan
Jeruzalem [jeˈry.za.ˌlɛm] Jerusalem
Methusalem [me.ˈty.za.ˌlɛm] Methuselah

Words with final primary stress usually have secondary stress on the first syllable:

Example 4

locomotief [ˌlo.ko.mo.ˈtif] locomotive
fonologie [ˌfo.no.lo.ˈɣi] phonology
etymoloog [ˌe.ti.mo.ˈlox] etimologist
asymmetrie [ˌa.si.met.ˈri] asymmetry
dominicaan [ˌdo.mi.ni.ˈkan] dominican
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The above-mentioned regularities are not without exceptions. A few words have non-initial secondary stress - in these cases, secondary stress is on the second syllable (examples from Booij 1995). The position of these secondary stresses often resembles those of the primary stress in the base words:

Example 5

piraterij [pi.ˌra.tə.ˈrɛi] piracy (base word: piraat [pi.ˈrat] pirate )
grammaticaal [ɣrɑ.ˌma.ti.ˈkal] grammatical (base word: grammatica [ɣrɑ.ˈma.ti.ˌka] grammar )
caleidoscoop [ka.ˌlɛi.do.ˈskop] kaleidoscope (no base word)

Furthermore, Kager (1989) argues that in words with closed second syllables, secondary stress optionally occurs on the second syllable; this would be a violation of the Hammock Principle.

Example 6

melancholiek [me.ˌlaŋ.xo.ˈlik] melancholy (next to: melancholiek [ˌme.laŋ.xo.ˈlik] )
gerontoloog [ɣe.ˌrɔn.to.ˈlox] gerontologist (next to: gerontoloog [ˌɣe.rɔn.to.ˈlox] )
electoraat [e.ˌlɛk.to.ˈrat] electorate (next to: electoraat [ˌe.lɛk.to.ˈrat] )

In an (informal) reading task we conducted with seven native Dutch speakers, all of the speakers pronounced the items with initial secondary stress. When we asked afterwards whether a pronunciation with secondary stress on the second syllable would be possible, six out of seven speakers regarded such forms as ungrammatical. It would appear that more empirical research is needed.

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Kager (1989) assumes that violations of the Hammock Principle in words with open first and closed second syllables indicate that secondary stress is quantity-sensitive (words of the type melancholiek[me.ˌlaŋ.xo.ˈlik]). Booij (1995), arguing against quantity-sensitivity in secondary stress (as in general), provides counterexamples such as the word grammaticaal[ɣrɑ.ˌma.ti.ˈkal], where secondary stress can be on the light second syllable instead of on the heavy first one.

References:
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
  • Kager, René1989A Metrical Theory of Stress and Destressing in English and DutchDordrechtForis
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