It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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The odd-parity input problem in metrical stress theory
Under the weak layering approach to prosodic structure (Itô & Mester ), the requirement that output forms be exhaustively parsed into binary feet, even when the input contains an odd-number of syllables, results in the , which consists of two sub-problems. The is a pathological type of quantity-sensitivity where a single odd-numbered heavy syllable in an odd-parity output is parsed as a monosyllabic foot. The is the systematic conversion of odd-parity inputs to even-parity outputs. The article examines the typology of binary stress patterns predicted by two approaches, symmetrical alignment (McCarthy & Prince ) and iterative foot optimisation (Pruitt , ), to demonstrate that the odd-parity input problem is pervasive in weak layering accounts. It then demonstrates that the odd-parity input problem can be avoided altogether under the alternative structural assumptions of weak bracketing (Hyde ).