|Headmost Accent Wins
|HIL/Leiden University dissertation (1999)
|Headmost Accent Wins
'Headmost Accent Wins' investigates the accentuation of lexical accent
systems within the framework of Optimality Theory. The central claims
of the book are: first, words with a lexical accent have unpredictable
stress but predictable prosodic shape, and second, prosodic structure
is built on the basis of morphological structure.
A lexical accent is an autosegmental feature which is phonetically realized
as stress or pitch according to language-specific constraints. Even though
the specification of accents is free and unrestricted, independent prosodic
constraints on word form limit their distribution. As a result, accented
words have a strictly binary prosodic structure. Freedom of the input,
on the one hand, and constraint ranking on the other derive a confined
set of 'ideal' prosodic forms for words with lexical accents.
Conflicts among lexical accents for prominence are resolved by morphology.
The prosody-morphology interface centers around the principle of prosodic
compositionality. It is articulated in terms of a 'theory of head dominance',
which states that the accent of the morphological head of the word prevails
over other accents. The theory of head dominance is tested in a number of
morphological constructions in languages with different types of morphology
(i.e. fusional, polysynthetic). In addition, it is shown that head dominance
voids the need for the complex derivational machinery of cyclic and
non-cyclic levels. Moreover, it directly derives the effects of the
metaconstraint ROOTFAITH >> SUFFIXFAITH (McCarthy & Prince 1995) and,
more importantly, it accounts for the counterexamples to this metaconstraint.
This book is of interest to metrical phonologists, linguists working on
the prosody-morphology interface and researchers interested in Greek,
Russian and the Salish languages.
NOTE: This dissertation was written under a lot of time pressure. Much
to my regret, there have been several unwanted typos in the Russian and
Salish transcriptions of the printed version (LOT:15, ISBN 90-5569-059-7,
Holland Academic Graphics). For the readers of the book, I have included
all corrections in the final (tenth) Postscript and PDF files. The present
(electronic) version is revised and corrected, therefore I recommend it to
the readers. I once again apologize for the inconvenience.