Syllabic stress within Latin words: fixed or variable?

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
I think that I know the basic rules for syllabic stress in Latin words: stress the penult if the syllable is long via a long vowel, a diphthong, or certain consonants following the vowel; stress the antepenult if the penult is short; etc. However, is the stressed syllable within any given Latin word fixed, or is it effected by considerations of the Latin sentence; can the stress within a word shift as a result of the influence of the phonetics, syllabic stress, or vowel length within adjacent words in a sentence? I don't have a specific example in mind right now, but this question occurred to me recently, and I wanted to bounce it off you folks here. Thanks much.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's mostly fixed, but:

- prepositions are, prosodically, clitics, so a preposition and the following word usually work as one word for accent purposes, so that for instance, in via = IN-vi-a.

- I read something along the lines that some set phrases may have been treated prosodically as one word, too.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You're welcome. Naturally, words that are visibly clitics (mostly enclitics then, like -que) form one prosodic word with the word they are attached to, as well (e.g. virum = VI-rum but virumque = vi-RUM-que). Maybe you already knew this, or deduced it from my last post, but I thought I should mention it in case it wasn't so.
 
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