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Translated from the original Japanese on 2021-01-04.

  1. Stress
    1. Units of sound
    2. Counting method
    3. Accent table
    4. The first rule
    5. The second rule
    6. Exceptions for foreign-language words
    7. Exceptions due to meaning
    8. Exceptions in the dictionary
    9. An a priori stress system
    10. The dictionary and the stress of foreign words

Units of sound

Word, morpheme, long syllable, short syllable, mora, half mora, phoneme.

In general, length goes in this order.

However, there are many words and morphemes that consist only of a mora, so one cannot say this about everything as a whole.

Below are the four essentials when it comes to the analysis of stress:

We call the above four types accent elements.

Counting method

Stress is counted from the end of the word.

For that reason, no matter how long a word is, it is sufficient to pay attention only to the last accent elements.

Three accent elements are counted from the back are enough to deduce the position of stress.

Accent table

This is a table gathering together combinations of the last three accent elements.

The rightmost element is the one in the first position [from the last], and the leftmost element the one in the third position.

Although not visible in the table, the fourth position occurs to the left of the third position.

Formula: The particular combination of accent elements.

Variant: Any other sequences of accent elements the formula can be replaced with.

Formula Variant Formula Variant Formula Variant
HLH SH, HS (lIvlpit, tezspEl) MLH HH LLH  

Note: S = Cn V C2 … (lask, isk &c.)

The first rule

Although the accent table considers only the last three syllables, the range in which stress can occur spans up to the fourth-to-last syllable.

The stress is placed according to the following rules. Lower-numbered rules take precedence over higher-numbered ones.

  1. Stress on S up to 2nd position
  2. Stress on H in 2nd or 3rd position
  3. Stress on M in 3rd position
  4. Stress on M in 2nd position
  5. Stress on 4th position

In short, this rule functions the same as “look for the biggest syllable that is a bit distanced from the end of the word”.

HLM becomes SM but not HS.

In the same way, MLH does not become MS, and MLM does not become MH1.

In addition, MML can be reinterpreted as MH.

For that reason, if any of L, M, or H comes before MH, the behavior of what comes after it changes. For instance, MMH and HMH are formed.

The second rule

Since, HMH and MMH are not covered by the first rule, the second rule exists to cover these cases.

If an MH at the end of the word manifests as CV VC, then the pattern is a long syllable such as main or kain.

The diphthongs within these can be seen to have a strong-weak relationship; for instance, in main, a is stronger than i.

Such a syllable, if the first vowel is stronger than the second, is called a strong syllable; otherwise, it is called a weak syllable.

Because the first vowel of a strong syllable is strong, it is easy to put the stress on such a syllable.

Because the earlier vowel of dain is strong and the later vowel is weak, the flow of strength goes from left to right if one says it as dAin.

Because dain is “>”, it is easy to place the stress on it, but because dian is “<”, it is difficult to place the stress on it as dIan.

We denote strong syllables by “X” and weak syllables by “Y”.

When we introduce “X” and “Y”, we can divide HMH into three subtypes:

  1. HMH: har/dI/gan : Based on the fundamental rule of HMH, we place the stress on the M. The same applies with such words as armalet and artales.
  2. HX: har/dAin : The stress is placed on X because it is easy to do so.
  3. HY: hAr/dian : Because it is hard to place the stress on Y, the stress is placed on the preceding syllable. If we place the stress on the a after the i, then we return to where we had started and lose the purpose of dividing CVVC syllables into strong and weak syllables.

The following applies to MMH in a similar way.

These rules cover such cases as Amalis, Atolas, agEit, kAmian, and rIdian.

  1. MMH: A/ma/lis, A/to/las : the stress is placed on the earlier M according to the rule.
  2. MX: a/gEit : the stress is on X. Similar with elEin and such.
  3. MY: kA/mian, rI/dian. The stress is moved to the preceding syllable.

By the way, amai is not MX. This is MMM to begin with because X is defined as CVVC. It is not one of MMH.

Similarly, aria is not MY. It is MMM, not MMH.

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Exceptions for foreign-language words

Because, for instance, Tiaren places stress on the last syllable of a word, words borrowed from Tiaren often do not conform to these rules.

In the end, these rules are only for words native to Arka.

Exceptions due to meaning

While kanxion and arxion are HY and should be stressed as kAnxion and Arxion by these rules, it is considered more natural to stress them as kanxIon and arxIon.

This happens due to meaning; that is, one thinks of them as kan (“father”) + xion (“Xion”) or ar (“god”) + xion (“Xion”).

If it were a meaningless word such as lenpion, then it would be pronounced as lEnpion.

Exceptions in the dictionary

Exceptions are noted in the dictionary using the [stress] ([アクセント]) tag.

There are words such as anfelixion whose stress position varies according to social class, and from that, one feels a sense of cultural richness.

An a priori stress system

Rules about stress in Arka are made from syllables and moras.

If they are thought of in terms of only syllables, they become Latin-y; if they are thought of in terms of only morae, they become Japanese-y. In either case, the sounds of Arka cannot be eliminated.

However, all possibilities can be covered by the rules above. They are unwavering.

The dictionary and the stress of foreign words

If we show the stress in uppercase, then the Japanese pronunciation of 「着物」 is closer to “kimonO”, while English pronunciation is closer to “kimOno”.

In this case, the “stress” field in the entry in an English-Japanese dictionary would contain “kimOno” instead of “kimonO”.

This fact is self-evident because an English-Japanese dictionary is a dictionary about the English language; there is no guarantee that an English dictionary will go as far as preserving Japanese stress.

The same can be said about the Arka-Japanese dictionary.

The word elyundite came from Tiaren, but it is stressed as elyundIte. However, it was originally stressed as elyunditE in Tiaren.

Because Tiaren is a fixed-stress language, it is clear that the word was originally elyunditE. Note, however, that a free-stress language is not guaranteed to preserve stress according to etymology.

  1. This remark seems to imply that LM could at least theoretically become H, or in other words, H can be CCV as well as CVC.