Portuguese Phonology - Stress


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

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