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Title:Sonority-Driven Stress
Authors:Michael Kenstowicz
Comment:28pp. 8/94
Abstract: Sonority-Based Stress



Michael Kenstowicz


MIT,August 1994

It is well known that the sonority hierarchy plays a major role in

determining the peaks and margins of the syllable. In this paper we

look at several languages in which the relative sonority of syllabic

nuclei determines the optimal stress-bearing units. Our analysis is

couched in the constraints-based Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky

1993) as this framework provides a way to formally express the

attraction of stress to the most sonorous vowel in a straightforward

and natural way. In order to extend the OT model to the systems we

consider here, several proposals are made. First, the Peak Prominence

constraint Prince & Smolensky (1993) develop for quantitative

distinctions in Hindi stress is extended to sonority distinctions.

Second, comparable to the Prince & Smolensky (1993) analysis of Berber

syllabification, the Peak Prominence constraint is broken down into a

set of micro constraints for each level of the sonority hierarchy.

It is demonstrated how these constraints can be interleaved with other

constraints that orient prominence with respect to the edges of the

word either directly or indirectly through controlling the size of

the metrical constituent. Finally, in order to express the two

opposing edge orientations in languages such as Mari (Cheremis), it is

suggested that sonority distinctions also optimize the trough

("nonpeak") portions of metrical constituents. This application of

sonority parallels the margin constraints in the Prince & Smolensky

(1993) analysis of Berber syllabification.

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1