In phonology, words can be classified according to the position of the stressed syllable:
- An oxytone word is a word stressed in the last syllable.
- A paroxytone word is a word stressed in the second last syllable.
- A proparoxytone word is a word stressed in the third last syllable.
In Spanish, this classification affects only to those words with more than one syllable. According to that classification, we speak about words than can be agudas, llanas or esdrújulas, respectively. Nonetheless, there are a few words in Spanish that have two stressed syllables: the adverbs ending with "-mente", the Spanish version of the English "-ly" adverbs. So "quickly" (from quick) becomes "rápidamente" (from rápido, "quick").
The origin of these words is the latin word mens, "mind". So doing something "rápidamente" etymologically means to do it "with a quick mind". Originally those adverbs were written as two words: "rápida mente" ("quick mind" indeed). And that is the reason why today we pronounce rápidamente as
RApidaMENte, with two stressed syllables as if the two words were still present.
The problem is that the Royal Spanish Academy does not recognise these adverb words as classifiable within the aforementioned classification, as this classification system only affects words with one stressed syllable. So is there a proposed classification for multi-stressed words? Do any language where words with two stressed syllables happen more often exist?