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Stress in lexicalized phrases
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A compound has a phrasal character when it takes the form of a nominal phrase modified by an adjective. In such a configuration stress will be realized on the noun, as is the regular stress pattern in common nominal phrases (Visch 1989; Booij 1995). Phrasal compounds differ from regular nominal phrases in such a way that they have an idiosyncratic meaning that cannot be derived from the individual constituents. For instance, the compound Goede VrijdagGood Friday does not say anything about whether some Friday is/was/will be a ‘good’ day, as a compositional meaning would suggest; it refers to the Friday before Easter.

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It has been observed that compounds consisting of a lexicalized phrase are stressed on the second constituent of the compound (Visch 1989; Booij 1995). Consider the following examples:

Example 1

Goede Vrijdag [[Goede][Vrijdag]] [ˈxu.də.ˈvrɛi.dɑx] Good Friday
de Chinese Muur [[de][Chinese][Muur]] [ʃi.ˈne.sə.ˈmyr] the Chinese Wall
Verenigde Staten [[Verenigde][Staaten]] [vər.ˈe.nəx.də.ˈsta.tə(n)] United States
het Rode Kruis [[het][Rode][Kruis]] [ˈro.də.ˈkrœys] Red Cross
het zwart geld [[het][zwart][geld]] [ˈzʋɑrt.ˈxɛld] illegal earnings
de vrije tijd [[de][vrije][tijd]] [ˈvrɛi.ə.ˈtɛid] leisure time

Stress can occur on the adjective but this is always contrastive stress, determined by the context. Note that the meaning of such lexicalized phrases often cannot be derived from the meanings of their individual constituents.

Given their phrasal nature, this stress pattern is to be expected, as noun phrases have primary phrasal stress on the noun, as in een mooie parkeerplaats[ˈmo.jə.pɑr.ˈker.plats]a beautiful parking lot.

References:
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Visch, Ellis1989The rhythm rule in English and DutchUtrecht UniversityThesis
  • Visch, Ellis1989The rhythm rule in English and DutchUtrecht UniversityThesis
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