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LINGUIST List 19.1595

Mon May 19 2008

Diss: Ling Theories/Phonology/Psycholing: Collie: 'English Stress ...'

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        1.    Sarah Collie, English Stress Preservation and Stratal Optimality Theory


Message 1: English Stress Preservation and Stratal Optimality Theory
Date: 19-May-2008
From: Sarah Collie <sejcolliehotmail.com>
Subject: English Stress Preservation and Stratal Optimality Theory
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Institution: University of Edinburgh
Program: Linguistics and English Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Sarah Collie

Dissertation Title: English Stress Preservation and Stratal Optimality Theory

Dissertation URL: http://roa.rutgers.edu/files/965-0408/965-COLLIE-0-0.PDF

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
                            Phonology
                            Psycholinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Patrick Honeybone
Heinz J Giegerich

Dissertation Abstract:

Since Chomsky & Halle (1968), English stress preservation has been
important in generative discussions of morphophonological interaction. This
thesis carries out empirical investigations into English stress
preservation, and uses their results to argue for a particular version of
Optimality Theory: Stratal Optimality Theory ('Stratal OT') (Kiparsky,
1998a, 2000, 2003a; Bermudez-Otero, 1999, 2003, in preparation). In
particular, the version of Stratal OT proposed in Bermudez-Otero (in
preparation) and Bermudez-Otero & McMahon (2006) is supported.

The empirical investigations focus upon the type of preservation where
preserved stress is subordinated in the preserving word ('weak
preservation'). Evidence for the existence of weak preservation is
presented. However, it is also shown that weak preservation is not
consistently successful, but that it is, rather, probabilistically
dependent upon word frequency. This result is expected in light of work
like Hay (2003), where it is proposed that word frequency affects the
strength of relationships between words: stress preservation is an
indicator of such a relationship.

Stratal OT can handle the existence of English stress preservation: by
incorporating the cyclic interaction between morphological and phonological
modules proposed in Lexical Phonology and Morphology ('LPM'), Stratal OT
has the intrinsic serialism which is necessary to predict a phenomenon like
English stress preservation. It is shown that the same cannot be said for
those of models of OT which attempt to handle preservation while avoiding
such serialism, notably, Benua (1997).

Bermudez-Otero's (in preparation) proposal of 'fake cyclicity' for the
first stratum in Stratal OT can capture weak preservation's probabilistic
dependence upon word frequency. Fake cyclicity rejects the cycle which has
previously been proposed to handle weak stress preservation, in LPM and
elsewhere; instead, fake cyclicity proposes that weak preservation is a
result of blocking among stored lexical entries. Blocking is independently
established as a psycholinguistic phenomenon that is probabilistically
dependent upon word frequency; in contrast, the cycle is not a
probabilistic mechanism, and so can only handle instances of stress
preservation failure by stipulation.



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