Pitch-accent language

In Japanese there are also other high-toned syllables, which are added to the word automatically, but these do not count as accents, since they are not followed by a low syllable. As can be seen, some of the words in Japanese have no accent.

If there are multiple accented morphemes, the accent is determined by specific morphophonological principles. Below is a comparison of Vedic, Tokyo Japanese and CupeƱo regarding accent placement:

 Baltic F R / \/ \ / /\ \ / / \ \ / / F \ / / |\ \ / / | \ \
Lith. Latvian

In some dialects of Swedish, including those spoken in Finland, the distinction is absent. There are significant variations in the realization of pitch accent between dialects. Thus, in most of western and northern Norway (the so-called high-pitch dialects), accent 1 is falling, and accent 2 is rising in the first syllable and falling in the second syllable or somewhere around the syllable boundary.

Since the contour of the accent changes in different contexts, from declarative to interrogative, those dialects apparently contradict Hayes's proposed criterion for a pitch-accent language of the contour of a pitch-accent remaining stable in every context.

There are, however, a few nouns (often borrowings) with a lexical accent. As in Japanese, the accent consists of a high tone, followed by a low one:

In addition, some suffixes (including all plural suffixes) are preaccenting and so cause an accent on the syllable before the suffix:

When a preaccenting suffix is added to an already-accented word, only the first accent is retained:

The accent from Ondarroa is similar but the accent of the word, if any, always appears on the penultimate syllable:

Normally, the pitch falls again at the end of the syllable (if final) or on the next syllable.

Persian nouns and adjectives are always accented on the final syllable. Certain suffixes, such as the plural -ha, shift the accent to themselves:

In verbs, the personal endings in the past tense are clitic but are accented in the future tense:

When a word is focussed, the pitch is raised, and the words that follow usually lose their accent:

Map of Japanese pitch-accent types. Red: Tone plus variable downstep. Green: Variable downstep in accented words. Lavender: Fixed downstep in accented words. Yellow: No distinction.

However, accentless words are not always without tones but usually receive a default tone on all syllables except the first one or the first mora:

A double consonant at the beginning of a word counts as a mora. In such words, the first syllable also can have a default tone:

Default tones are also heard on the end of accented words if there is a gap of at least one mora after the accent (the default tones are lower in pitch than the preceding accent):

The default tones are not always heard but disappear in certain contexts, such as if a noun is the subject of a sentence or used before a numeral:

In some contexts such as affirmative verb + location, or phrases with "of"), the high tone of an accent (or of a default tone) can continue in a plateau all the way until the next accented syllable:

The situation with verbs is more complicated, however, since some of the verbal roots have their own inherent word-accent, but also, the prefixes added to the verb also often have an accent. Also, some tenses (such as negative tenses and relative clause tenses) add an accent on the final syllable.

However, many number of nouns have no high tone but are accentless. Unlike the accentless words in Luganda, however, they do not acquire any default tones but are pronounced with all the syllables low:

A few nouns (often but not always compounds) have two high tones. If they are separated by only one syllable, they usually join in a plateau:

For example, the present habitual tense has tones on the first and penultimate syllables, the recent past has a tone after the tense-marker -na-, the subjunctive has a tone on the final syllable and the potential is toneless. The tones apply, with minor variations, to all verbs, whether the stem is long or short:

Those and other processes cause most verb tenses to have only one or two high tones, which are at the beginning, the penultimate or the final of the verb stem or at a prefix or sometimes even both. That gives the impression that the tones in the resultant words have a clearly-accentual quality.

Most dialects of English are classified as stress-accent languages. However, there are some dialects in which tone can play a part in the word accent.

In some words with a long first vowel, the accent moves to the second syllable, and the vowel of the first syllable then becomes short:

In a certain kind of reduplication, the accent moves to the first mora, and the next consonant is then usually doubled. At the same time, since a long vowel cannot follow the accent, the vowel after the accent is also shortened: