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Secondary stress in words with six syllables

Words with six syllables are morphologically complex and they are very rare in Frisian. Their stress patterns are the subject of this topic.


Six-syllable words with final primary stress always have a secondary stress on their first syllable. They show variation as to the location of the second secondary stress (as is also the case for Dutch, see Hoeksema and Van Zonneveld (1984)). In the cases in (1a), it is on the fourth, in those in (1b) on the third syllable. Note that all examples in (1) have a lapse: those in (1a) have an unstressed second and third syllable, those in (1b) an unstressed fourth and fifth syllable.

a. Six-syllable words with secondary stress on the first and fourth syllables
      spiritualiteit [ˌspi.ri.ty.ˌwa.li.'tɛjt] spirituality
      kollegialiteit [ˌkol.le:.ɣi.ˌja.li.'tɛjt] collegiality
      sentimentaliteit [ˌsɛn.ti.mɪn.ˌta.li.ˈtɛjt] sentimentality
b. Six-syllable words with secondary stress on the first and third syllables
      dialektology [ˌdi.ja:.ˌlɛk.to:.lo:.ˈɡi] dialectology
      sinematografy [ˌsi.nə.ˌma:.to:.ɡra:.ˈfi] cinematography
      paleontology [ˌpa:.le:.ˌjon.to:.lo:.ˈɡi] paleontology

Penultimate primary stress in words with with six syllables is rather rare. Usually, these words are derivations, with the stress-shifting suffix -ysk [[-isk]], or plurals ending in -yen [[-i.jən]]. They have an alternating stress pattern, with secondary stress on the first and the third syllable, thus obeying the Alternating Stress Principle.

autobiografysk [ˌɔw.to:.ˌbi.jo:.'ɡra:.fisk] autobiographical
meteorologysk [ˌme:.te:.ˌjoə.ro:.ˈlo:.ɣisk] meteorological
terminologyen [ˌtɛr.mi.ˌno:.lo:.ˈɡi.jən] terminologies
ensyklopedyen [ˌɛ̃.si.ˌklo:.pə.ˈdi.jən] encyclopedias

Antepenultimate primary stress in six-syllable words is also very rare; it occurs in some words ending in -ia [-i.ja]. Secondary stress is on the first and the last syllable. See the examples in (3) (all of which have a lapse, since neither the second nor the third syllable bears stress).

yntelligintsia [ˌin.tɛl.li.'ɡɪn.tsi.ˌja] intelligentsia
parafernalia [ˌpa:.ra:.fɛr.'na:.li.ˌja] paraphernalia
universalia [ˌy.ni.fɛr.'sa:.li.ˌja] universalia
  • Hoeksema, J. & Zonneveld, R.M. van1984Een autosegmentele theorie van het Nederlandse woordaccentSpektator13450-472
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