LINGUIST List 23.4965

Wed Nov 28 2012

Qs: Syllabic Stress Violations

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <>

Date: 27-Nov-2012
From: Mark Seidenberg <>
Subject: Syllabic Stress Violations
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There is a familiar alternation in English such that a disyllabic word with weak-strong syllabic stress is a verb and the strong-weak pattern is a noun (e.g., PERMIT, CONSORT, ARRAY etc.). There are exceptions to this pattern, e.g., RELEASE for which both noun and verb are WS, and many others. My question is whether the standard pattern ever perfectly reverses: a word for which the WS form is the noun and the SW is the verb. I am not aware of any.

Although the query is about a narrow corner of English, there is some broader interest in the extent to which languages tolerate deviations from rules/central tendencies. If this kind of reversal does not occur in the above case, is it attested in other languages or components of language?

Apologies in advance if the question is a linguistically naive one covered in the first chapter of someone's textbook (though the reference would be appreciated nonetheless!).

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Page Updated: 28-Nov-2012