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Title:Stress Placement in Munster Irish
Authors:Antony D. Green

ROA-120-0496 15pp.

Antony Dubach Green

Cornell University

In Munster Irish, stress is predictable, but the pattern is so

complicated that several generalizations must be stated in order to account

for every instance (Breatnach 1947, 1961; O Cuiv 1944, 1947). In this paper

I propose that in Munster Irish, syllables are parsed into moraic trochees.

Feet and unfooted syllables are then parsed into binary, right-headed cola;

in other words, cola that comprise two elements, of which at least one is a

foot, and in which the rightmost foot is prominent. Finally, the cola are

parsed into unbounded, left-headed prosodic words. In this analysis I build

on proposals by Halle and Clements (1983), Hammond (1987), and Hayes (1995)

that the colon is a prosodic constituent located between the foot and the

prosodic word in the prosodic hierarchy. The colon provides a way to group

feet into constituent groups at a level lower than the prosodic word.

In addition, it is observed that words with [ax] in the second

syllable and words with [@] in the first syllable have special stress

patterns, which are accounted for by banning stress on [@] in the first

instance and by appealing to prominence theory (Hayes 1995) in the second:

[a] before [x] is more prominent than other light syllables, but less

prominent than heavy syllables. Thus, when [a] before [x] is part of a (L

L) foot, it becomes the head of that foot, even though that means making

the foot an iamb instead of a trochee. If the [a] before [x] is not part of

a foot, however, its prominence is irrelevant, and it becomes unstressed


With this combination of prosodic theory incorporating the colon

and prominence theory I have proposed an analysis that brings into line the

complex facts of stress in Munster Irish.


Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1