Seminar Approaches to word accent in Leiden – April 2, 2009

Seminar: Approaches to word accent (word stress)

Organized by Rob Goedemans, Jeroen van de Weijer and Marc van Oostendorp (Leiden University)

April 2, 2009; Leiden University, Lipsius Building (http://www.visitors.leiden.edu/lipsius.jsp), room 235c

14.00 – 16:00 Harry van der Hulst (University of Connecticut): A new theory of word accentual structures (abstract below)
16:00 – Comments by Marc van Oostendorp and Jeroen van de Weijer, followed by discussion

Participation in this seminar is free for all. If possible, please announce your intention to come with Marc.van.Oostendorp@Meertens.KNAW.nl

A New Theory of Word Accentual Structures
Harry van der Hulst
University of Connecticut

The key insight of standard metrical theory (Liberman and Prince 1977, Vergnaud and Halle 1978, Hayes 1980, Halle and Vergnaud 1987, Idsardi 1990) is that syllables (or perhaps subsyllabic constituents such as skeletal positions, rhymes or moras) of words are organized into a layer of foot structure, each foot having a head. Primary accent is then derived by organizing the feet into a word structure in which one foot is the head. The head of the head foot, being a head at both levels, expresses primary accent. In this view, rhythmic accents are assigned first, while primary accent is regarded as the promotion of one of these rhythmic accents. In this seminar, I defend a different
formal theory of word accent. The theory is non-metrical in that the account of primary accent location is not based on iterative foot structure. The theory separates the representation of primary and rhythmic accents, the idea being that the latter are accounted for with reference to the primary accent location. This means that rhythmic structure is either assigned later (in a derivational sense),
or governed by constraints that are subordinate to the constraints that govern primary accent (as is possible in the approach presented in Prince and Smolensky 1993). The present approach has been called ‘a primary-accent first theory’ (see van der Hulst 1984, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000a, 2002, 2009, van der Hulst and Kooij 1994, van der Hulst and Lahiri 1988 for earlier statements; see web page below for these and other references). I will demonstrate the workings of the theory using a variety of examples from bounded and unbounded (weight-sensitive and insensitive systems) taken from the StressTyp database developed by Rob Goedemans and Van der Hulst (http://stresstyp-test.leidenuniv.nl/).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.