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Conference Information

Full Title: Strong Versus Weak Prosodic Positions: Possible Variation and Relevance for Grammar

Short Title: Prosodic Positions
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Start Date: 04-Mar-2015 - 06-Mar-2015
Contact: Marzena Zygis
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The workshop is part of the 37th annual conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) which will take place at the University of Leipzig from March 4-6, 2015.

Workshop Convenors:

Renate Raffelsiefen (IDS Mannheim/FU Berlin) & Marzena Żygis (ZAS Berlin/HU

Both phoneticians and phonologists have found reason to distinguish 'strong' and 'weak' positions referring to constituents of the prosodic hierarchy, including higher constituents, whose boundaries align with morphosyntactic boundaries, as well as lower constituents such as foot and syllable. Strength is commonly associated with initial positions and with stress whereas weakness is associated with non-prominent positions. Reference to strong versus weak positions has been invoked in articulatory phonetics (target overshoot, i.e. enhancement of the duration and/or magnitude of articulatory gestures, in strong positions versus target undershoot in weak position) as well as auditory phonetics (lower rate of misperception in strong positions versus higher rate in weak position). It has also been invoked to account for potential contrast, more distinctiveness being associated with strong positions (cf. the notions of 'positional faithfulness' and 'positional markedness' in Optimality Theory). Although reference to 'strong' versus 'weak' positions appears to be universally grounded in prominence and although it seems to be taken for granted that positions considered strong for the purpose of one area of phonetics or phonology implies strength for the purpose of others there is evidence for disparity. For instance, the word-initial position is associated with strong potential contrast by Beckman (1998), whereas Trubezkoy links both margin positions of words to low contrastiveness (e.g. neutralization of the voicing contrast for all consonants in word-initial position in Erza-Mordwin, Trubetzkoy 1958: 212ff). Similarly, the word-initial position is associated with target overshoot (e.g. aspiration of voiceless plosives) in English or German, but also exhibits fewer contrasts in fricatives than for instance the foot-internal position. The latter nonetheless exhibits target undershoot (flapping in American English).

Invited Speakers:

Rachel Walker, University of Southern California, USA
Yi Xu, University College London, UK
Linguistic Subfield: Phonetics; Phonology
LL Issue: 25.3411

This is a session of the following meeting:
Annual Meeting 2015 of DGfS (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft)

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