[Lingtyp] languages without word level stress

Hiroto Uchihara uchihara at buffalo.edu
Thu Oct 17 16:29:31 UTC 2019

  Hi Adam,

Cherokee could be a case (but maybe not ideal); there are words which have
a syllable which have accent-like properties (and most likely they are
remnants of Proto-Iroquoian accent) but they have morphosyntactic functions
(such as subordination, nominalization, etc.) and thus doesn't satisfy the
requirement of obligatoriness, thus it is not an accent in Hyman's sense.
Other words completely lack any syllable that is prominent, both
acoustically and phonologically (I.e. number of contrasts). If I remember
correctly, Chafe describes that another Iroquoian language Seneca is
similar in that some words completely lack accent (while other words do).


El jue., 17 de oct. de 2019 a la(s) 08:44, TALLMAN Adam (
Adam.TALLMAN at cnrs.fr) escribió:

> Hey all,
> This is just a query for sources.
> I'm looking for languages that have been explicitly described as having no
> word-level stress. I was under the impression that this was fairly common,
> but apparently the existence of such languages (e.g. French) is
> controversial [?].
> To be clear, I mean stress in Hyman's sense of a single culminative and
> obligatory marking of prominence.
> (After that, I'm wondering whether there have been cases of languages that
> are described as containing neither word-level nor phrase-level stress in
> the same sense).
> best,
> Adam
> Adam James Ross Tallman (PhD, UT Austin)
> ELDP-SOAS -- Postdoctorante
> CNRS -- Dynamique Du Langage (UMR 5596)
> Bureau 207, 14 av. Berthelot, Lyon (07)
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Dr. Hiroto Uchihara
Seminario de Lenguas Indígenas
Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Circuito Mario de la Cueva
Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Ciudad de México.
Tel. Seminario:(+52)-(55)-5622-7489
Office: (+52)-(55)-5622-7250, Ext. 49223
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