Primary stress may fall on any of the three final syllables of a word, but mostly on the last two. There is a partial correlation between the position of the stress and the final vowel; for example, the final syllable is usually stressed when it contains a nasal phoneme, a diphthong, or a close vowel. The orthography of Portuguese takes advantage of this correlation to minimize the number of diacritics.
Because of the phonetic changes that often affect unstressed vowels, pure lexical stress is less common in Portuguese than in related languages, but there is still a significant number of examples of it:
- dúvida /ˈduvidɐ/ "doubt" (noun) vs. duvida /duˈvidɐ/ "he doubts"
- ruiram /ʁuˈiɾɐ̃ũ/ "they collapsed" vs. ruirão /ʁuiˈɾɐ̃ũ/ "they will collapse"
- falaram /faˈlaɾɐ̃ũ/ "they spoke" vs. falarão /falaˈɾɐ̃ũ/ "they will speak" (Brazilian pronunciation)
- ouve /ˈovi/ "he hears" vs. ouvi /oˈvi/ "I heard" (Brazilian pronunciation)
- túnel /ˈtunɛl/ "tunnel" vs. tonel /tuˈnɛl/ "wine cask" (European pronunciation)
Read more about this topic: Portuguese Phonology
Famous quotes containing the word stress:
“A society which is clamoring for choice, which is filled with many articulate groups, each urging its own brand of salvation, its own variety of economic philosophy, will give each new generation no peace until all have chosen or gone under, unable to bear the conditions of choice. The stress is in our civilization.”
—Margaret Mead (19011978)
“In the stress of modern life, how little room is left for that most comfortable vanity that whispers in our ears that failures are not faults! Now we are taught from infancy that we must rise or fall upon our own merits; that vigilance wins success, and incapacity means ruin.”
—Agnes Repplier (18581950)
“Anyone who wishes to combine domestic responsibilities and paid employment with the least stress and most enjoyment might start by pondering this paradox: the first step to better functioning is to stop blaming herself for not functioning well enough.”
—Faye J. Crosby (20th century)