When two nouns are combined, the stress is usually on the first noun, as in MILK bottle, DOG house, DOORknob, and POTATO salad. However, if the first noun denotes a place, the stress seems to be on the second, as in kitchen LIGHT, Osaka STREETS, and city GOVERNMENT. Time also seems to have this effect, as in morning NEWSPAPER. Why is this so? Is there any comprehensive rule to tell which noun is stressed when I meet a new noun-noun phrase?
What confused me recently is how I should pronounce university names. Most university names consist of a non-place, proper noun + university, as in Harvard University. Some university names have a place noun in their name, as in New Castle University, or in Tokyo University. Where should I put a stress when I pronounce these university names? Should I say HARVARD University, and Tokyo UNIVERSITY?