[Lingtyp] languages without word level stress

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Thu Oct 17 17:54:17 UTC 2019

Riau Indonesian can be added to the list of languages without word-level 
stress, as argued in:

Gil, David (2006) "Intonation and Thematic Roles in Riau Indonesian", in 
C.M. Lee, M. Gordon, and D. Büring eds., /Topic and Focus, 
Cross-Linguistic Perspectives on Meaning and Intonation/, Studies in 
Linguistics and Philosophy 82, Springer, Dordrecht, 41-68.

Similar facts probably obtain for a large number of languages of western 
Indonesia.  I would concur with Matthew Gordon's comment and suggest 
that the absence of word-level stress is probably under-reported in the 
world's languages.


On 17/10/2019 16:44, TALLMAN Adam wrote:
> 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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David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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