Janáček: Stress


English (UK)
Which syllable is stressed in “Janaček”? I know little Czech, but I’m familiar with the almost universal initial stress. Some Anglo-Saxon sources suggest Janáček is stressed on the 2nd syllable. If they’re right, is Janáček unusual in having non-initial stress? Are there other notable words or names wth non-initial stress?
  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech the stress is almost always on the first syllable. There are some exceptions (unstressed one-syllable words, mostly pronouns; stress on the preposition, etc.), however "Janáček" is no exception.

    The Czech stress is weak and not phonemic (unlike in English: a record vs. to record, or in Russian: zamok = a castle vs. zamok = a lock). On the other side the vowel length (quantity, duration) is phonemic and independent of the stress (lidská práva = human rights noun plur. vs. pravá ruka = right adj. fem. hand).

    It is common that the English speaking people or Russians confuse the vowel quantity with stress.

    Pronunciation of Janáček:

    short, but stressed yah (or yuh?)
    long, but unstressed naaaah
    short unstressed check (or Czech :))

    IPA: [ˈja.naː.tʃɛk ]

    pro Janáčka = for Janáček, the stress is on the preposition pro (pronounce like one word: projanáčka),
    similarly u Janáčka = at Janáček (pron. ujanáčka), etc.
    Last edited:
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