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LINGUIST List 16.2512

Tue Aug 30 2005

Diss: Phonology: Milligan: 'Menominee Prosodic ...'

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        1.    Marianne Milligan, Menominee Prosodic Structure

Message 1: Menominee Prosodic Structure
Date: 30-Aug-2005
From: Marianne Milligan <milli064umn.edu>
Subject: Menominee Prosodic Structure

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Marianne I Milligan

Dissertation Title: Menominee Prosodic Structure

Linguistic Field(s): Language Description

Subject Language(s): Menomini (mez)

Dissertation Director:
Monica Macaulay
Thomas Purnell
Joseph Salmons

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation provides an analysis of the metrical structure of
Menominee, an Algonquian language spoken in Wisconsin. Menominee metrics
have long been recognized as typologically unusual for two reasons. First,
short vowels are lengthened in closed syllables and long vowels are
shortened in open syllables. Second, previous analyses require an ad hoc
distinction between 'glottal' words (words with a short vowel and glottal
stop in the first syllable) and other words. Using new data on the
interaction of pitch and duration, an analysis is given that captures the
differences between glottal and non-glottal words and clarifies the
rhythmic effects of the typologically unusual vowel length conditions.

Menominee is an iambic language with underlying long and short vowels. If
the first two syllables of a word are short, the second vowel is lengthened
unless the word is a glottal word. All words start with a pitch rise.
Non-glottal words have a pitch rise since heavy syllables get primary
stress which correlates with high pitch. Glottal words have an initial
pitch rise since the glottal stop lowers the pitch of the initial syllable.
Pitch, therefore, helps to mark word boundaries.

The conditions on vowel quantities which shorten the head of a disyllabic
foot if it is open, and lengthen the head if it is closed are typologically
odd. First, they are the reverse of phonetic tendencies: languages tend to
have phonetically longer vowels in open syllables. However, at the phonetic
level, Menominee does uphold the generalization. Long vowels are
phonetically longer in open syllables. The shortening is particularly
unusual since vowels typically lengthen under stress, and changing LH feet
to LL feet appears to violate the Iambic/Trochaic Law. However,
measurements of vowel duration show that there is a durational difference
between syllables of a LL foot. The head is longer than the non-head. Thus
even LL feet in Menominee follow the Iambic/Trochaic Law. Although they are
typologically unusual, the vowel quantity conditions are synchronically
robust. Therefore, I argue that phonological theory must be able to account
for phonologically unnatural processes.

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