N+N Borrowings from English: A New Stress Pattern in Czech?

Tomas Dubeda


In this paper, I investigate English N+N and Adj+N borrowings in Czech (e.g. body building and Bloody Mary). N+N Anglicisms provoke prosodic tension, as native Czech prosody does not, under normal conditions, allow the destressing of the last word in a noun phrase. An analysis of recorded N+N and Adj+N borrowings shows that Czech speakers adopt the foreign stress pattern without difficulty, treating most N+N phrases as compounds. This pattern also spills over to Adj+N phrases. Spelling reflects pronunciation in the sense that hyphenated or single-word spellings are more common in Czech than in English and guarantee a better matching between spelling and pronunciation. Lexical frequency does not seem to have an influence on stressing, but phrase length is correlated with stress probability. The imported prosodic pattern seems to have gained an important position in Czech loanword phonology, despite quite considerable inter-speaker variability in its usage.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-18

Cite as: Dubeda, T. (2018) N+N Borrowings from English: A New Stress Pattern in Czech?. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 90-93, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-18.


@inproceedings{Dubeda2018,
  author={Tomas Dubeda},
  title={N+N Borrowings from English: A New Stress Pattern in Czech?},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={90--93},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-18},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-18}
}