I read in p. 2388 of Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikations-wissenschaft (De Gruyter Mouton) that warm stellen and warmstellen are pronounced the same and are prosodically indistinguishable in:

die Suppe warm stellen (Q1)
die Suppe warmstellen (Q2)

What Duden says is in accordance: (bold a shows the stress location):

warm stellen

However, when I looked for the place of stress in the verb stellen I found that it is located in first syllable as is expected: stellen (As Duden says).

The question is why should stellen loose its stress in the sentence marked as Q1 above? It is the verb in that sentence and warm is the adjective. They are not bound into a single lexeme; then why should stellen have lost its stress? In the case of Q2, I can say that we have a single lexeme, warmstellen. Then, it's not surprising that we have only one stress peak which is placed on the first syllable.



1 Answer 1


The structure in "warmstellen" uses a construct that describes a result ("warm") of an action ("stellen"). I will call the result part the "resultative" (see e.g. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pr%C3%A4dikativum#Resultative_Pr%C3%A4dikativa)

The orthography generally writes verb and resultative in one word if

  • the complement is simple,
  • the meaning differs from the constituents.

But it usually allows both writing with and without space. Here "warmstellen" does not really make "warm" by just "stellen" alone, so writing it as one word is reasonable: I doubt people would understand "nassstellen" as "exposing to rain".

In spoken German, the verb can (and normally will) lose stress when it has a resultative. The verb loses stress just by being inside such a construction. This also happens with more complicated resultatives:

zu Brei schlagen

has almost no stress on "schlagen" and is basically pronounced like "zu Breischlagen". This is done to constrast the resultative to an adverb or depictive. See e.g.

sich dumm stellen.

As "to play dumb", it has no stress on "stellen". As "to turn oneself in stupidly" or "to face something stupidly", it must have stress on "stellen". Naturally, "stellen" can nevertheless have an stress for constrast, even with complement, as in:

Die Kunst ist es, nicht dumm zu sein, sondern sich dumm zu stellen.

  • Thank you very much for your response. 🙏 Commented May 1 at 20:35

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