Stress placement in collocations and compounds work like this:
1. Compounds in which the first and the second elements are nouns. a. Noun 1 + noun 2.(single stress on the first element) Nouns 1 is Direct Object of noun 2 Noun 2 ends in”er” or “or”. The stem word of this noun is a verb. Ex. /’ brɪkleɪə/ Ballet dancer Taxi driver Law-breaker Glue-snifferGoalkeeper Bricklayer
b. Noun 1 + noun 2. (single stress on the first element) Nouns 1 is Direct Object of noun 2 Noun 2 ends in”er” or “or”. The stem word of this noun is a verb. In the followingcases the relationship between Noun 2 and Noun 1 as a Direct Object is less obvious. Ex. /’tʃɜ:tʃgəʊə/ Churchgoer Schoolteacher Vacuum cleaner Pressure cooker Chain-smoker
If you analyze thecompound “tin opener”, which corresponds to example a. (N1+N2 “er-or”), you will notice that there is an evident relationship between N2 as an agent, and N1 as Direct Object, since “tin” is the “thingopened”. Whereas in the cases presented in example b. “church” is not “the thing gone”, or “school”, the “thing taught”.
c. Noun 1 + Noun 2 (single stress on the first element) When two nouns formanother noun, where Noun 1 delimits the meaning of Noun 2, like in “bookshop”, the commonest stress pattern favours single stress on the first element (Noun 1). However, there are some exceptions wheredouble stress can be found, like “kitchen sink”, in which “kitchen” takes secondary stress and “sink” takes primary stress. Ex. /’bʊkʃɒp/ Bookshop Address book Ballot box Newspaper Boyfriend Coffee barNightclub Identity card
d. Noun 1 + Noun 2 (single stress on the first element) In this combination of nouns, single stress vs. double stress can be responsible for changes in meaning.
Ex.Family name Party line Toy factory
Single stress ‘fæmɪli neɪm ‘pʰɑːti laɪn ‘tʰɔɪ fæktəri Surname Shared phone line Where toys are made
Double stress (secondary + primary) ,fæmɪli ‘neɪm ,pʰɑːti...