American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

Dutch and English frequently agree in the way adjective compounds are stressed, as is illustrated by ˈkleurenblind and ˈcolorblind, ˈhuizenˈhoog and ˈsky-ˈhigh. The following differences should be noted, however:

  • when the first constituent is a noun and the second a verb, English often has the stress on the first constituent, but Dutch on both constituents. Compare ˈheart-warming and ˈhartverˈwarmend, ˈhair-raising and ˈangstaanjagend, ˈoil- fired and ˈolie-geˈstookt, ˈwater-cooled and ˈwatergeˈkoeld. When the first constituent is clearly local in meaning, however, English follows the Dutch pattern, as in ˈBoston-ˈbased.
  • when the second constituent is prone (gemakkelijk onderhevig aan), proof, tight or worthy the stress falls on the first constituent: ˈstrike-prone, ˈfoolproof, ˈwatertight, ˈseaworthy.  Their AN equivalents are stressed on both con­stituents, however: ˈwaterˈdicht, ˈzeeˈwaardig, etc. Note also ˈbloodthirsty, ˈcolorfast (kleurecht).