Most noun compounds have the stress on the first constituent. Examples are ˈcourse requirements, ˈhigh chair (kinderstoel), ˈhousing problem, ˈlunch voucher, ˈalbum cover, ˈring finger, ˈweekend, ˈtrade union, ˈloudspeaker.
In the following cases both constituents are stressed:
In addition, there are quite a number of noun compounds with two stresses for which no rule can be given. Among them are ˈanti-ˈclimax, ˈcourt-ˈjester (hofnar), ˈdry-ˈcleaning, ˈfamily ˈplanning, ˈfour ˈposter (hemelbed), ˈgood ˈwill, ˈkitchen ˈgarden (moestuin), ˈMiddle ˈAges, ˈpotˈ luck (to take potluck: maar iets kiezen; ook: eten wat de pot schaft), ˈrevolving ˈdoor (draaideur), ˈsafe ˈconduct (vrijgeleide), ˈshop ˈsteward (vakbondsvertegenwoordiger op fabriek of fabrieksafdeling), ˈshop ˈwindow (etalage), ˈsliding ˈdoor.
There are also noun compounds with the stress on the first constituent that might wrongly be thought to have the stress on the second, on the basis of their equivalents in Dutch. In such cases the compounds are misinterpreted as combinations of adjective plus noun. Examples are ˈblind spot (blinde vlek; dode hoek (auto)), ˈcold cream (huid crème, schoonmaakcrème), ˈdark room (doka), ˈmental institution, ˈnervous system, ˈpostal service, ˈsolar system.
A noun compound that comes from a verb + particle combination always has the stress on the first constituent. From to ˈpin ˈup, for example, the noun ˈpin up is formed, and from to ˈtip ˈoff the noun ˈtip off (tip, aan politie). When these noun compounds are taken over into Dutch, the second constituent is stressed.
Here are a few examples, together with the usual Dutch pronunciation:
|close up||/ˈkloʊsʌp/||/klo.z ˈʏp/|
|make-up||/ˈmeɪk ʌp/||/me.k ʏp/|
|stand by||/ˈstæn baɪ||/stɛnd ˈba.j/|
|try-out||/ˈtraɪ aʊt||/tra.j ˈɔut/|
The relationship between to pin up and a pin up may be compared with that between to contrast and a contrast discussed above. These noun compounds should be distinguished from formations like ˈpassers ˈby (voorbijgangers), ˈswearing-ˈin (beëdiging, bijv. van president), ˈgoings-ˈon, which are stressed in the same way as the verb + particle combination from which they are derived.