LINGUIST List 10.63

Fri Jan 15 1999

Books: Morphology

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  1. Rint Sybesma, Revithiadou, Headmost Accent Wins

Message 1: Revithiadou, Headmost Accent Wins

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 19:22:54 +0100
From: Rint Sybesma <>
Subject: Revithiadou, Headmost Accent Wins

N e w f r o m H o l l a n d A c a d e m i c G r a p h i c s

Anthi Revithiadou
Headmost Accent Wins. Head Dominance and Ideal Prosodic Form in
Lexical Accent Systems

Headmost Accent Wins investigates the accentuation of lexical accent
systems within the framework of Optimality Theory. The central claims
of the book are: first, words with a lexical accent have unpredictable
stress but predictable prosodic shape, and second, prosodic structure is
built on the basis of morphological structure.
 A lexical accent is an autosegmental feature which is phonetically
realized as stress or pitch according to language-specific constraints.
Even though the specification of accents is free and unrestricted,
independent prosodic constraints on word form limit their distribution.
As a result, accented words have a strictly binary prosodic structure.
Freedom of the input, on the one hand, and constraint ranking on the
other derive a confined set of 'ideal' prosodic forms for words with
lexical accents.
 Conflicts among lexical accents for prominence are resolved by
morphology. The prosody-morphology interface centers around the
principle of prosodic compositionality. It is articulated in terms of a
theory of head dominance, which states that the accent of the
morphological head of the word prevails over other accents. The theory
of head dominance is tested in a number of morphological constructions
in languages with different types of morphology (i.e. fusional,
polysynthetic). In addition, it is shown that head dominance voids the
need for the complex derivational machinery of cyclic and non-cyclic
levels. Moreover, it directly derives the effects of the metaconstraint
ROOTFAITH >> SUFFIXFAITH (McCarthy & Prince 1995) and, more
importantly, it accounts for the counterexamples to this metaconstraint.
 This book draws (and analyzes) data from Greek, Russian and the
Salish languages.

Introduction 1. A typology of stress systems 2. The theory of lexical
accents 3. Lexical accents and prosodic form 4. Lexical accents and
head dominance in fusional languages 5. Lexical accents and head
dominance in polysynthetic languages Summary and conclusions

HIL/Leiden University dissertation. [LOT International Series, 15.]
January 1999. ISBN 90-5569-059-7. Paperback. xv+325 pp. Price: NLG 71.25 
(excl. P&P) (Individuals ordering directly from HAG get a discount.)

Holland Academic Graphics
PO Box 53292
2505 AG The Hague
The Netherlands

fax: +31 70 448 0177
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  • Addison Wesley Longman
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  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
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  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
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  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics