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April 19, 2015

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Kevin Flynn

I'm not sure I agree with your last paragraph. Where I grew up, the main roads out of town lead to Alcester, Birmingham, Warwick, Banbury, Shipston, and Evesham, and they were all NAMED Alcester Road, Birmingham Road, etc., but were invariably KNOWN as the Alcester Road, the Birmingham Road, etc. There was no difference of stress as between the forms omitting the definite article (typically as used in citing addresses) and those including it: "road" would take the primary stress in both. Thus I could say "I live at 44 Birmingham Road" or "... opposite the new pub on the Birmingham Road". The first element would be stressed only to mark a contrast -- "No, not the EVESHAM Road" -- or, as you say, when "road" really is a common noun, as in "The collision occurred on the Easton to Weston road".

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