Word stress in Romanian

Research output: Working paper


The issue of word stress has not been the subject of any detailed analysis in traditional works on Romanian. It is generally assumed that stress is not predictable. The generalizations that have been made concerning stress placement are, however, made on the basis of observations of surface forms. Mallinson 1987:300 says that “stress is free and variable, giving rise to doublets: m'odele ‘the fashions’, but mod'ele ‘models’ ”. Puficariu 1959 writes that stress is free and can fall on one of the last six syllables (cerceta t'or ‘researcher’, fânt'âna ‘fountain’ inc'aleca ‘to mount (a horse)’ d'oisprezece ‘twelve’, fi'aptesprezecelea ‘seventeenth’). Rudes’ 1977 study of verb stress takes into consideration morphological features such as inflexional class and tense in order to describe the system of verb stress. Steriade 1984 maintains that stress falls on one of the last three syllables and claims that it is rule-governed to some extent. The goal of the present paper is to build on this analysis by showing that one can obtain a greater understanding of Romanian stress if one adopts the view that stress is assigned lexically by rules that interact with morphological rules that attach derivational and inflexional affixes to word stems. Being a language that has been in contact with a great number of other languages, it is also to be expected that word stress has been affected by the contact language stress systems. However, the effects of this contact are amenable to a structured account in terms of a lexical phonological framework.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers, Lund University, Dept. of Linguistics
ISSN (Print)0280-526X

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

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