Word stress in English as well as in Russian is free. in the sense that the primary stress is not tied to any particular syllable In all the words. But it always falls on a particular syllable of any given word, eg 'finish. re'sult, ,edu'cation:
The position of word stress in English is the product of its historical development. It has been influenced by the combination of different tendencies. The oldest of them is known as the r e c e s s i v e tendency. according to which the root syllable i.e. the semantic unit of the word is stressed. So the majority of words of Germanic origin have stresses on the first root syllable. eg 'clever, 'body, 'water, 'singing.
If words are formed with the prefixes with no referential meaning the stress is shifted onto the root syllable which is not initial in this case, eg be'fore, be'gin, mis'take.
The second tendency is the result of the mutual influence of Germanic and French accentual patterns. It is known as the r h y t h m i c tendency which .manifests itself in stressing the third syllable from the end, eg 'situate. articulate.
Most disyllabic English words have recessive stress, eg 'finish, 'answer, 'marriage. be'hind, re'sult.
Some disyllabic French borrowings retain the primary stress on the last syllable. eg ma'chine, po'lice.
According to both tendencies words of three syllables generally have stress on the first syllable (which is the third syllable from the end" eg 'cinema, 'enemy. 'afterwards. 'recognize. 'situate (but un'certain, re'lation).
Words of four syllables may have either recessive or rhythmic stress, eg 'architect, 'criticism, 'characterize. re'markable. ar'ticulate.
Rhythmic stress is especially common for verbs with the suffixes -ate. -ty, -ize, eg 'situate, 'qualify, 'centralize. articulate. personify.
Some 4-syllable words tend to have a three-syllable accentual pattern, eg dictionary ['dlkfnrlJ, laboratory ['lrebrtrlJ.