Prosodic Alignment at the Word Level

Call for papers

Prosodic Alignment at the Word Level

Mannheim, Germany

November 20–21, 2008

Deadline for abstracts: July 1, 2008


Organization of segments into prosodic constituents is well known to be sensitive to morphological boundaries. Thus, the difference between the cluster ‘tr’ being syllabified as a complex onset in the English word ‘nitrate’ but being coda ‘t’ plus onset ‘r’ instead in ‘night rate’ evidently is a result of their difference in morphological structure.

Currently, a widely accepted approach to this kind of phenomenon involves the notion of alignment. According to this, prosodic domains are in place to satisfy constraints that demand that all morphological constituent boundaries of a particular kind (e.g. word, stem, affix) concide with a prosodic constituent boundary of a particular kind (e.g. phonological word, foot, syllable).

This specialized workshop is on alignment, with focus on word-internal morphological and prosodic constituents. The workshop is to be centered on empirical generalizations rather than being committed to any particular theoretical framework.

We particularly welcome contributions regarding:

  1. Effects of morphosyntactic structure mediated by prosodic constituency, including both ”lexical” phonological and phonetic effects — particularly among those, phonetical or laboratory phonological studies on subliminal boundary effects.
  2. From a crosslinguistic perspective: what sorts of morphological distinctions (e.g. affixes vs. affixoids) are reflected prosodically?
  3. Similarly, what sorts of prosodic constituents are involved? Are there alignment effects that relevantly do not refer to the phonological word but rather the foot or the syllable?

For practical reasons, our principal interest is in the following languages (in alphabetical order): English, French, German, Hungarian, and Polish, but also extends to other languages (esp. of Europe) including nonstandard varieties of the languages already mentioned.

Presentations will be 35 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Deadline is July 1, for abstracts of 2 pages maximum (including examples and references). Two copies — one anonymous, one showing name and affiliation — should be submitted in PDF format, to:

Working language at the workshop will be English.

Expenses for travel and accommodation can be reimbursed within a limit.

For additional questions, please contact:

Renate Raffelsiefen, Caren Brinckmann, or Markus Hiller

Institut für deutsche Sprache

Postfach 10 16 21

68016 Mannheim

Phone: +49 621 / 1581 – 0

Fax: +49 621 / 1581 – 200

e-mail: {brinckmann,hiller,raffelsiefen}

Project group:

”Grammatik des Deutschen im europäischen Vergleich [German Grammar in a comparative European context]”,

Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Germany

[ Via LINGUIST List. ]

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