|credit: Vanessa Pike_Russell
|The Naval Chronicle 24, 1810, p. 301
In No. American speech kilometer is most often pronounced with primary stress on the second syllable. This pronunciation is also heard frequently in British speech. Those who object to second syllable stress say that the first syllable should be stressed in accord with the stress patterns of centimeter, millimeter, etc. However, the pronunciation of kilometer does not parallel that of other metric compounds. From 1828 to 1841 Noah Webster indicated only second syllable stress, and his successor added a first syllable stress variant in the first Merriam-Webster dictionary of 1847. Thus, both pronunciations are venerable. Most scientists use second syllable stress, although first syllable stress seems to occur with a higher rate of frequency among scientists than among nonscientists.I'm afraid I don't have access to the 1847 and later editions to verify this. All I can see is that the 1914 edition indicates stress on the first syllable and that there are no stress variants.
|Triumphal Chariot of Antimony by the Benedictine monk Basilius Valentinus
Where more than one stress pattern is possible, the preferred pronunciation is given first and then alternatives are listed. (xv)As an addition to the prefix anti- we find the following note in CEPD18 (p. 23):
Note: Prefix. Numerous compounds may be formed by prefixing anti- to other words. Most often, these compounds carry primary or secondary stress on the first syllable, e.g. antihero /ˈæn.tiˌhɪə.rəʊ/ /-t̬iˌhɪr.oʊ/, anti-icer /ˌæn.tiˈaɪ.sər/ /-t̬iˈaɪ.sɚ/, but there are also cases in which the second syllable takes the primary stress, e.g. antinomy /ænˈtɪn.ə.mi/.This description causes me tummy ache for two reasons: