|Title:||Theoretical Aspects of Panoan Metrical Phonology: Disyllabic Footing and Contextual Syllable Weight|
|Abstract:||This dissertation studies the relation between foot size and contextual syllable-weight. In particular, it focuses on the influence that foot disyllabicity has on triggering quantity adjustments of syllable weight. Within Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993; 2004), this dissertation formally addresses the relation between foot size and syllable weight through the stringency relation between two constraints: *FOOT(syllable) and *FOOT(mora). The former penalizes feet smaller than two syllables and the latter, feet smaller than two moras. In isolation, they create a scale in which disyllabic feet are more preferable than monosyllabic feet and, in turn, bimoraic monosyllabic feet (symbolized as (H)-feet) are more preferable than monomoraic monosyllabic feet (symbolized as (L)-feet).
The existence of other conflicting constraints can, however, prevent the occurrence of disyllabic feet, which in turn causes the emergence of monosyllabic feet. Whether feet are disyllabic or monosyllabic in a given context depends on the conflict between respecting the constraints that inhibit quantity adjustments, complying with those that restrict the distribution of syllable weight and satisfying the constraints *FOOT(syllable) and *FOOT(mora).
Empirically, the relation between foot disyllabicity and quantity adjustments of
syllable weight is studied through the detailed examination of two Panoan languages spoken in the Peruvian Amazon: Shipibo and Capanahua. The data presented is the result of several fieldtrips carried out by the author. Although both languages are trochaic by default and distinguish heavy versus light syllables, (H)-feet are avoided in favor of disyllabic feet. In order to obtain disyllabic feet and avoid heavy syllables as heads of uneven (H.L)-trochees or in unstressed positions, Shipibo and Capanahua contextually
adjust vowel length and the weight of closed syllables.
The disyllabic footing of Shipibo and Capanahua is not only supported by the
distribution of heads within the Prosodic Word (PrWd) but also by a number of
segmental rhythmic phenomena; for example, rhythmic allomorphy, long vowels and
heavy closed syllables restricted to even syllables, inhibition of glottal coalescence in odd syllables.