From: Piotr Gasiorowski
----- Original Message -----From: tgpedersenSent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 12:01 PMSubject: [tied] Re: Initial stress> Of course one must conclude from the fact that Russian has free accent that Proto-Slavic had it too and that therefore Polish at some time in its history must have shifted to initial stress. But is there evidence that this development took place when Polish was "in place"Yes. If it were a "Proto-Lekhitic" change, Polabian and northern Kashubian would have been affected to, and they weren't.
> (you've probably guessed what I'm fishing for: a contiguous initial-stress zone from Pannonia to Scandinavia, based on some substrate language)?There are some universal preferences as regards the location of stress. If a language has a stress rule that ignores syllable weight and if the location of stress is not determined lexically, then stress is almost always either word-(or phrase-)initial or penultimate (more rarely final, as in French), and there are good reasons why it should be so. You'll find this tendency everywhere, including Australia and the New World. In other words, the chances that a given language will have initial stress (wherever it's spoken and whatever family it belongs to) are pretty high to begin with. In quantity-sensitive systems primary stress is also frequently initial (so that syllable weight only determines the location of subsidiary stresses); otherwise it's often "Latinate" (final/penult or penult/antepenult, depending on the configuration of syllable weight).Piotr