Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Nov 2 19:58:06 UTC 2001

two additions to my previous posting on forestress...

1.  i have no reason to think that forestress in noun-noun compounds
(which is, after all, the default) has anything to to with the
latinate-prefix alternations or the dialectal stress retractions.

2.  the afterstressed pronunciation of "ice cream" has an obvious
source, namely the stress pattern of the modifier-noun phrase "iced
cream".  presumably, the stress pattern was carried over even after
the expression was reanalyzed as a noun-noun compound (which i think
it certainly is today).  the forestressed pronunciation of "ice cream"
then has at least two possible (and not contradictory) sources:
regularization to the default pattern, and replacement from the
stressing predicted by the rhythm rule in very frequent expressions
like "ice cream cone".

(saying that "iced cream" lost its final /t/ by "final t/d deletion"
and then was reinterpreted as a noun-noun compound doesn't say
anything about other phrases involving past-participial modifiers.
all i'm saying is that this particular fixed expression has changed,
and is now a noun-noun compound for speakers of english generally.
there are certainly other such phrases that have changed for some
speakers, or, possibly, have both structures for some speakers.)

arnold (zwicky at

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