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Primary stress on monomorphemic words in Afrikaans
quickinfo

Primary stress placement on Afrikaans monomorphemes depends on the following factors:

  1. Type of nucleus
  2. Position of syllable in the word
  3. Structure of syllable
  4. Origin of words.

The following articles should be taken into account as important background information:

  • Concerning the general stress pattern of Afrikaans monomorphemes: Overview of main stress
  • Concerning the criteria for classifying words as monomorphemes: Background to primary stress of Afrikaans monomorphemes
  • The following additional articles should also be taken into account as important background information:

    (De Stadler, L.G. 1981); (Combrink, J.G.H.; De Stadler, L.G. 1987); (De Stadler, L.G. 1991); (De Villiers, M. 1965); (De Villiers, M.; Ponelis, F.A. 1992); (Lee, A.S. 1963); (Le Roux, J.J. 1936); (Le Roux, T.H.; Pienaar, P. de V. 1927); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Wissing, D.P. 1971); (Wissing, D. 1987); (Wissing, D.P. 1988); (Wissing, D.P. 1988); (Wissing, D. 1989); (Wissing, D.P. 1989); (Wissing, D. 1991); (Wissing 2017)

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    Of the factors mentioned in the Quick Info above, position (2) tends to be the most important. Taking this into account, the following may be formulated as the main stress rule for Afrikaans monomorphemes:

    Primary stress lies on 1) the penultimate syllable of monomorphemic words ending on an unstressed syllable, or 2) on the antepenultimate syllable when followed by two unstressed syllables, except 3) when other factors dictate word-final stress.

    Examples:

    1. albaster /ɑl.'bɑs.tər/marble
    2. duidelik /'dœy.də.lək/clear
    3. generaal /xə.nə.'ral/general

    In the case of 1) the last syllable is not stressable due to the presence of weak schwa /ə/; in 2) both final syllables are of this kind, and in 3) the final syllable contains a long vowel that is strong enough to attract primary stress.

    For more examples, see The short vowels of Afrikaans, and Long vowels in monomorphemes.

    Three types of vowel segments are distinguished in Afrikaans phonology : diphthongs, long vowels and short vowels. (Overview of Afrikaans Vowels). Diphthongs and long vowels are strong attractors of stress; short vowels behave variably in this regard, depending on their position in a word and the subtype to which they belong.

    Note that this classification differs from that of Dutch, which normally distinguishes between Class-A and Class-B vowels ((Booij, Geert 1995); Segment inventory; The Dutch vowel inventory and references in there).

    In Afrikaans, /a, o, e, ø/ are considered to be long (Long vowels in monomorphemes), while the rest of the monophthongs are short i.e. /ɛ, ɔ, ɑ, œ, ə, i, u, y/ (The short vowels of Afrikaans). All diphthongs in Afrikaans are long. With respect to stress-assignment rules, it is useful to distinguish between the following subgroups of short vowels :

    1. /i, u, y/ are phonetically short but, in reaction to stress, often behave in some respects as if they were long: they are sometimes stressed in word-final, open syllables, mostly in words of Classical origin.
    2. /ɑ, ə, ɛ, ɔ, œ/are phonetically short.
    3. /ə, ɑ/ occur freely in all positions, in all types of words, and when in word-final, open syllables, are always unstressed.
    4. /ɛ, ɔ/ behave in a similar fashion to 1.3., except that in word-final, open syllables they are restricted to the names of places and persons adopted from indigenous South African languages.
    5. /œ/ occurs freely in word-medial positions, in open as well as closed syllables, though never in word-final position, and therefore does not play any role in primary stress assignment.

    For details, consult the following:

    References:
    • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
    • Combrink, J.G.H. & De Stadler, L.G1987Afrikaanse fonologie.Macmillan
    • De Stadler, L.G1981Die klemkontoere van die simplekse selfstandige naamwoord in Afrikaans: 'n NGF-siening.Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe21285-295
    • De Stadler, L.G1991Oor die klemtoon van Afrikaanse simplekse: re Wissing.South African Journal of Linguistics941-46
    • De Villiers, M1965Aspekte van woordaksent.
    • De Villiers, M. & Ponelis, F.A1992Afrikaanse klankleer.Tafelberg
    • Le Roux, J.J1936Die uitspraak van Afrikaans.Huisgenoot2031
    • Le Roux, T.H. & Pienaar, P. de V1927Afrikaanse fonetiek.Juta
    • Lee, A.S1963Klem in Afrikaans.Thesis
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Oor die klemtoon van Afrikaanse simplekse: re Wissing én De Stadler.South African Journal of Linguistics118-17
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Die klempatrone van Afrikaans.South African Journal of Linguistics1149-59
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Klem in Afrikaans en die superswaar rym.South African Journal of Linguistics78-99
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Inleiding tot die algemene en Afrikaanse metriese fonologieReeksUOVS
    • Wissing, D1987Klemtoon en tweesillabige Afrikaanse simplekse: eksperiment.South African Journal of Linguistics5105-139
    • Wissing, D1989Die klempatrone van Afrikaanse en Nederlandse simplekse: 'n vergelyking.Literator1050-65
    • Wissing, D1991Is Afrikaans 'n inisiëleklemtoontaal?South African Journal of Linguistics947-57
    • Wissing, D.P1971Fonologie en morfologie van die simplekse selfstandige naamwoord in Afrikaans: 'n transformasioneel-generatiewe beskrywing.Buijten & Schipperheijn. Vrije Universiteit.Thesis
    • Wissing, D.P1988Die Afrikaanse en Nederlandse verkleiningsisteme: 'n vergelyking in metries-fonologiese kader.Literator962-75
    • Wissing, D.P1988Abrakadabra: die klem van multisillabige Afrikaanse simplekse.South African Journal of Linguistics613-40
    • Wissing, D.P1989Twee- en multisillabige Afrikaanse simplekse: twee klemtoonreëls of net een?South African Journal of Linguistics7116-124
    • Wissing, Daan2017FonologieVan Schaik
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