Polytonic Stress

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polytonic Stress

 

a type of stress in which a difference in the pitch of the basic tone of the voice, or the raising and lowering of the basic tone on a syllable (mainly on its vocalic part), is used phonologically to contrast stress and lack of stress. In languages with polytonic stress, other components of stress (intensity and length) are not used to differentiate meaning— that is, they are phonologically insignificant. Polytonic stress is characteristic of a number of languages, including Lithuanian and Japanese. Monotonie stress is the opposite of polytonic stress.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.