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|| Examples|
| Light|| short vowel + open syllable|| ta|
| Moderate|| long vowel + open syllable|
short vowel + closed syllable
tan or tand
tai or taid
| Heavy|| long vowel + closed syllable|| tân|
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|
| zirak|| zi-RAK|| moderate ultima > light penult|
| kheled|| KHE-led|| light penult has same vowel as moderate ultima, so equal|
| zâram|| ZÂ-ram|| moderate penult = moderate ultima|
| khazâd||kha-ZÂD|| 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