Primary stress defaults to the final syllable
(ultima) in a word.  There are times when the stress can move back to the syllable before the final (the penult) or even to the syllable before that (the antepenult).  Having stress on the antepenult is rare, and stress never falls farther back than that.

The stress position is determined by the weight of the syllables involved.  The weight in turn is a factor of whether the syllable has a long or short vowel and whether it is open or closed.  There are three weights that result from the combinations.

 Weight Features
 Light short vowel + open syllable
 Moderate long vowel + open syllable
 short vowel + closed syllable
 diphthong vowel
 tan or tand
 tai or taid
 Heavy long vowel + closed syllable

The position of stress can be determined by the following process:
  • Stress starts on the final syllable
  • If the syllable immediately previous is of equal or greater weight, the stress moves back by one syllable
  • If the vowels of the two syllables are identical (in both quality and length), the previous syllable counts as being one weight heavier
  • Stress will move from the penult to the antepenult only if there are four or more syllables in the word

Here are some example words, showing their stress.

 Example Word
 Stress Explanation
 zi-RAK moderate ultima  >  light penult

 KHE-led light penult has same vowel as moderate ultima, so equal

 zâram ZÂ-ram moderate penult  =  moderate ultima

 heavy ultima  >  light penult

 mazarbul ma-ZAR-bul moderate penult  =  moderate ultima

 Tumunzahar tu-MUN-za-har light penult has same vowel as moderate ultima, so equal
 moderate antepenult  >  light penult, with 3+ syllables

Stressed syllables are pronounced with higher pitch and volume that others.