After googling for "stress" and "mandarin", I came across one forum where a member named Carlo notifies us of a dictionary of word stress for Mandarin. As he explains the situation in more detail with helpful examples, he adds: "So some say that putonghua has several lexical stress patterns: strong-neutral, strong-weak, and weak-strong."
Instinctively, I'm skeptical that our analysis of Mandarin stress must be so complicated (ie. strong-weak versus strong-neutral) and feel this may be an illusion caused by the interaction of stress with tone. I have my own language models in mind that would make things simpler than this, but I'll continue looking out for more info to test my thoughts.