Some languages count the same syllable as "light" or "heavy" depending on the phonological process in question. For example, in Lhasa Tibetan, a CVC syllable ending in a sonorant is heavy for tone but light for stress (Gordon 2006).

My question is: are there languages where either the syllable weight hierarchy is different for primary and secondary stress, or where the cut-off for which syllables are considered heavy or light is different for primary and secondary stress?

1 Answer 1


To answer this question, you first need to know what is light or heavy in relation to primary and secondary stress articulation. There is no possibility you can alter a syllable with heavy quality without that syllable having a long or diphthong vowels in its nucleus in the most case languages I know.

For example, in ha language the word like 'INGOO" means come with two syllables, IN and GOO, where primary stress fall on the second syllable GOO and to have heavy feature as long and more louder than in the first syllable IN in which the secondary stress fall on to have with low loud and more light when pronouncing it.

By so the word becomes ,IN'GOO to mean Verb COME; hence I can make generalization by saying that according to my experience with reference to the language mentioned above when saying heave the same to primary stress and when saying light the same to secondary stres.

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