• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Syllables and Stress

Page history last edited by David 14 years, 1 month ago

Usually syllables are divided so that non-initial syllables begin with a consonant. Syllables ending in a short vowel are short, and all others long.


Initial stress is the norm, however there are exceptions. There are three types of stress: primary, secondary, and weak. Primary stress will be indicated with bold type, italics for secondary stress, and no marking for weak stress. This would correspond to the stresses in the Modern English word incubate.


In Wistra-Gutisk root syllables carry primary stress when initial and secondary stress when not. For example:


Root Initial Non-initial
hairto 'heart' hairto hráinja-haírts


Not all prefixes are equal. Adverbial prefixes to nouns, and the reduplicated syllables of verbs, follow the same rule as above. Yet, adverbial prefixes to verbs bear secondary stress. For example:


Prefix Unprefix Prefixed
un- 'un-, not' mahts unmahts
sai- (redupl. syll.) slē-piþ


However, adverbial prefixes to verbs (i.e. preverbs) bear secondary stress. For example:


af 'from'
ana 'into'


Thus stress alone may in some instances serve to distinguish verbs and nouns. Consider the following pair:


af 'from'
letan 'let'
af-let 'forgive thou'
af-lēt 'forgiveness' (acc.)



This is similar to the contrast found in Modern English project (verb) and project (noun). The exception to secondary stress of preverbs is ga-, which always carries weak stress, or 'no' stress: ga-slep.

Suffix syllables (but not endings), when following a weakly stressed syllable, follow the accentuation rules of root syllables. Compare sal-bōnd 'they anoint' vs. salbō-deina 'they might anoint'; mi-kils 'great' vs. mikil-dūþs 'greatness'.

Weak stress falls on syllables between those with primary or secondary stress. Compare -ra- in figgra-gulþ above, and also -na- in ana-saí-slēp. In general, the prefix ga-, the interrogative particle -u, and the conjunction -uh 'and' carry weak stress. For example: ga-leiks 'like'; ga-u-laubjats 'do ye two believe'; ub-uh-pida 'and he cried out'.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.