Tools for the transcription of Portuguese prosody
Beyond Intonation
Word stress

Word stress is a prosodic dimension that varies across languages, both in the function and domain of stress in the phonological grammar and in the correlates of stress. In stress languages, prominence at the word level plays an important role in the phonological organization of prosody. It works as the building block for phrasal prominence relations, for stress-pitch accent relations, and plays a role in rhythmic patterns.

Portuguese is a language with variable stress, with one of the last three syllables of the prosodic word carrying the word stress. Stress is lexically contrastive, given that words may be distinguished by stress location solely. Stress is cued by a combination of suprasegmental (e.g., duration, pitch) and segmental cues (e.g., vowel quality).

The example below illustrated a stress location word contrast, which in turn also exemplifies the relation between stress and pitch accent location (in this case, the pitch fall).


For further information on stress in Portuguese, see: Mateus & Andrade 2000; Wetzels 2007; Frota, Cruz, Fernandes-Svartman, Collischonn, Fonseca, Serra, Oliveira & Vigário 2015; Correia et al. 2015.