American English Pronunciation: Sentence Stress
Open Compound Nouns
In the following sentence:
there are four content words, Conrad, made, juice, and oranges. When the sentence is spoken aloud, the stressed words follow the Rhythm Rule and happen on a regular beat.
In English grammar, there is a group of words called "open compound nouns". Open compound nouns occur when two nouns are working together as a common phrase. Examples are coffee table and orange juice.
From the sentence above, we could take the words juice from his oranges and simplify it to the phrase orange juice. Orange juice is an example of an open compound noun. Compound nouns if the term for two words that are separated by a space, yet they function as a single term. When saying an open compound noun in a neutral stress pattern, the first word, not the second word, becomes a stressed word. (The rule is the same when a compound noun is closed, as well.)
In the following sentence, notice that the word orange is stressed more than the word juice.
Other examples of sentence with open compound nouns include:
Sentence stress guidelines
Introduction to sentence stress
The Rhythm Rule
Content words and function words