Stress Pattern System in Central Sarawani Balochi

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Leiden University, the Netherlands

2 University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran


The present article investigates the stress pattern system of Central Sarawani Balochi (CSB), spoken in Sarawan located in Sistan and Baluchestan province of the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on metrical theory as developed in Hayes (1995). Correspondingly, the present research illustrates the position of primary and secondary stress in mono-morphemic words, verbal paradigms, compound words, complex words, pair words and simple transitive as well as intransitive sentences. The linguistic data are mostly based on the purposeful recording of speech gathered through interview and elicitation from the speech of 10 male and female language consultants with different social backgrounds. CSB data highlight that the stress pattern system in this language variety is almost totally systematic; it is a language variety with iambic feet. Further, CSB data show up that stress is culminative at phonological level. It is also rhythmically distributed. The absence of stress assimilation is supported by CSB data as well. Since the location of stress is predictable, its stress pattern is fixed. The data, likewise, confirm that stress system in CSB is a mixture of morphological and rhythmic. Meanwhile, stress pattern in complex words indicate the suffixes attract the primary stress. Besides, in negative and prohibitive forms, prefixes m{- and n{- get the primary stress.


Baranzehi, A. N. (2003). “The Sarawani dialect of Balochi and Persian influence on it”, in Jahani, C. and Korn, A. (eds.), The Baloch and Their Neighbors, Ethnic and Linguistic Contact in Balochestan in Historical and Modern Times, Wiesbadan, pp. 75-111.

Booij, G. (2007). The Grammar of Words, An Introduction to Linguistic Morphology, Oxford, Text books in linguistics.

Burquest, D. A. (20012). Phonological Analysis, A Functional Approach, Dallas: SIL.

Chomskey, N., and Morris, H. (1968). The Sound Pattern of English, Harper and Row, New York.

Elfenbein, J. (1989). “Balochi”, CLI, pp. 350-362.

Halle, M., and kiparsky, P. (1977). “Towards a reconstruction of the Indo-European accent”, Hayman (ed.), pp. 209-238.

------------ (1981). “Review Article: Histoire de l’ accentuation slave by Paul Grade,” Language 57, pp. 150-181.

Halle, M., and Vergnaud, J. R. (1987). An Essay on Stress, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Haspelmath, M. (2002). Understanding Morphology, Arnold.

Hayes, B. (1979). “Extrametricality”, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, 1, pp. 77-86.

Hayes, B. (1995). Metrical Stress Theory, Principles and Cases Studies, The University of Chicago Press.

Jahani, C. (2001). “Balochi”, in Garry, J. and Rubino, C. (eds), Facts about the World’s Languages: An Encyclopedia of Word’s Major Languages, Past and Present, New York/Dublin, pp. 59-64.

Jahani, C., Korn, A. (2009). “Balochi”, in Windfuhr, G., Iranian Languages, Routledge,pp. 634-692.

Korn, A. (2003). “Balochi and the concept of North-Western Iranian”, in Jahani, C. and Korn, A. (eds.), The Baloch and Their Neighbors, Ethnic and Linguistic Contact in Balochestan in Historical and Modern Times, Wiesbaden, pp. 49-60.

Kager, R. (1999). Optimality Theory, Cambridge University Press.

Katamba, F., and Stonham, J. (2006). Morpholog or Morphology, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN.

McCarthy, J. J. (1981). “A Prosodic Theory of Nonconcatenative Morphology”, Linguistic Inquiry, 12, pp. 373-418.

Lerdahl, F., and Jackendoff, R. (1983). A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Liberman, M. (1975). The Intonational System of English, Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, [Distributed by Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington.]

Liberman, M., and Prince, A. (1977). “On stress and linguistic rhythm”, Linguistic Inquiry, 8, pp. 249-336.

Paul, L. (2003). “The position of Balochi among Western Iranian languages”, in Jahani, C. and korn, A. (eds.), The Baloch and Their Neighbors, Ethnic and Linguistic Contact in Balochistan in Historical and Modern Times, Wiesbaden,pp. 61-74.

Selkirk, E. O. (1984). Phonology and Syntax: The Relation between Sound and Structure, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Soohani, B. (2003). Phonology of Balochi of Sarawan Variety (South-Eastern Iran): A linear and Nonlinear Approach, (Unpublished MA thesis, Azad University: Iran).

van Oostendorp, M. (2009). “Stress and Metrical Theory”, (Unpublished class paper, Leiden University: Netherlands).