samedi 12 mai 2012

the stress accent in Malagasy words

The stress accent is counted from the bottom to the beginning of the word :

1- it is on the last but one syllable (penultimate, Malzac, p4) in a two syllable word

nify- vava -loha

but exceptions for
zo ( friday )
vo barking
lao game/toy
words from French ending by é ka(coffee), ta (director)
words derived from monosyllabic root: man(refuse), fao (do),

2-It is on the third from the bottom (antepenultimate) in a three syllable word or more, and for three or more syllable words with ka, tra, na

tongotra- lemaka- anarana

*exceptions =
tana (city)
lana (way)
alika (dog)
sobika (de soubique, Fr)
fanka (reed)
mana (always)
atry (paddy)

3- the last syllable (1) rarely bears the stress accent


The final vowels are always weakly pronounced, a/y mostly,
for example: ( anana: green leaves [anane], and y fary [farr] mostly

i and o between consonants are not pronounced, according to Rajaonarimanana (2011)
like misaotra [misôt']
inona [ inn]

but it is pronounced if preceded by h
mihevitra [miévt']
hividy [ividi]

However, for the final vowels Malzac stressed that it must be distinguished from another word, so it is pronounced as if you murmur it, a forgotten vowel you add

manénona (to weave) is different from manénina (to regret)
vola (money ) from voly (culture) from volo (hair)

4- The accent moves to the end of the word with the imperative form,
with ina/ana of the passive verbs

5- In words with diphtongues (ai, ay, ei, ey), the accent always falls on the diptongues, but the second vowel is pronounced higher than the first, on e for ei/ey, in the passive ai is pronounced separately=
a-i-dina adina (poured into)
a-o-rina, aorina ( that is built)


Rajaonarimanana, Le malgache, Assimil. 2011.preface XI.
Malzac, Grammaire Malgache, 1950. p. 3. (some of the examples are taken from the book)


Listen and tick the place of the stress accent



satroka-kitapo (ki is a prefixe)
voataby (diphtongue ao=ô)

*kadò is from the French cadeau, and also tasy (tasse, FR.) but they are malagasy words now, so I used them as examples