Cross-Linguistic Evidence for Probabilistic Orthographic Cues to Lexical Stress

Padraic Monaghan, Joanne Arciuli, Nada Seva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Reading a word requires converting symbols to a phonetic sequence but also determining the stress position of that word. In this chapter, we analysed corpora of English, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek to determine whether sublexical probabilistic information from the very beginnings and endings of words provided sufficient information to determine stress patterns. We found that such information was sufficient to accurately determine stress positions. However, languages varied as to whether beginnings or endings were more informative. Furthermore, the extent to which stress patterns were regular within each language related to the reliability of the sublexical cues to stress position. The analyses show that stress does not have to be stored at the lexical level to support pronunciation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLinguistic Rhythm and Literacy
EditorsJenny Thomson, Linda Jarmulowicz
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789027267559
ISBN (Print)9789027244079
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameTrends in Language Research
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN (Electronic)1569-0644


  • Lexical Stress
  • Orthographic Cues
  • Linguistics


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