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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Title: The Stress System of Berber
Subtitle: An Optimality-theoretic Approach
Written By: Youcef Hdouch
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Afroasiatic Linguistics 29

The objective of this book is to enrich the research on Berber stress by
applying the OT principles to account for stress assignment in AWTB
prosodic words. In fact, our aim is to show that the assumptions laid out
in the non-linear metrical analyses are not completely wrong, but at the
same time, they do not provide an adequate account of the surface facts of
AWTB nouns and verbs. The interaction of different constraints is
sufficient to account for the location of stress in these grammatical
categories. Our focus will be placed on the prosodic status of the
extraprosodic affixes and clitics. Actually, one of the least studied
linguistic phenomena in Berber phonology is stress. Apart from the
impressionistic and linear treatments conducted by scholars who
investigated the metrics of different varieties of Berber (cf. Laoust (1918
–1939), Apllegate (1958), Abdel- Massih (1968), Prasse (1972), Chami
(1979), Bounfour (1985) … etc.), recent studies of Berber phonology
conducted within the non-linear metrical framework include Adnor (1995),
Marouane (1997) and Faizi (2002).

Two notions lie at the heart of the last three metrical accounts. The first
one concerns syllable weight, a decisive factor in a number of stress
systems. In this respect, Marouane (op-cit.) and Faizi (op-cit.) draw a
distinction between syllables headed by the epenthetic schwa, and those
headed by full vowels. The second notion involves extraprosodicity. Only
Adnor and Marouane make use of this concept. However, while Adnor argues
that the feminine suffix /t/ and the agentive morphemes /m/ or /n/ is
extrametrical, Marouane attributes this feature to all prosodic words’
final consonants. In the literature, three features function as cues for
the identification of stress. These are pitch, loudness and duration.
However, the presence of these correlates either individually or
collectively depends on the language under study. In AWTB, the examination
of the native speakers’ realisations shows that stressed syllables tend to
be lengthier and louder than the unstressed ones. As a result, duration and
loudness are the phonetic correlates of stress in this variety.

The remainder of this book is organised as follows.

Chapter I reviews the three metrical treatments mentioned above. Inherent
deficiencies are pointed out.
Chapter II presents a description of the stress facts of AWTB nouns and
Finally, chapter III consists of an OT account of the main issues raised by
the facts of AWTB.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
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Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Language Family(ies): Berber
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9783929075656
Pages: 118
Prices: Europe EURO 53.20