LINGUIST List 11.760

Mon Apr 3 2000

Qs: Empathic Accuracy, Types of Stress Assignment

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  1. Boxleitner, Empathic Accuracy
  2. John Hutton, Prominence and metrical structure

Message 1: Empathic Accuracy

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 13:08:12 +0200
From: Boxleitner <>
Subject: Empathic Accuracy

Dear Linguists,

I'm working on the linguistic aspects of a project dealing with Empathic
Accuracy. EA is a measure that has been developed to assess the extent to
whether a person is able to accurately infer the specific content of the
partner's or a stranger's unexpressed thoughts and feelings. EA has been
introduced by William Ickes et al , University of Texas, Arlington, in the
early nineties, coming from the field of social psychology.

I'd like to know if there are any publications or ongoing studies directly on
the connection between EA and sociolinguistics or related areas, or anything 
recent on the linguistic analysis of interpersonal perception I might have 

Any information will be appreciated.
Thank you for your help
Susanne Boxleitner
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Message 2: Prominence and metrical structure

Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2000 18:12:00 +0100
From: John Hutton <>
Subject: Prominence and metrical structure

Dear All,

 According to Hayes (1995: Ch 7) there are two types of
prominence-based stress assignment. In one a word layer is
created and stress is assigned by End Rule to the
appropriate syllable. In the other, metrical structure is
created and a prominence grid projected from the syllables
which are the heads of feet.

 Is there a third type? - a language which has, in effect,
two rounds of stress assignment, one where stress is
assigned on the basis of prominence and the other where
stress is assigned by binary metrical structure. The
structure created by the latter respects the structure
created by the former.

 One diagnostic for such a language might be the presence
of monsyllabic feet in positions where, under binary
footing, the syllable would fall in the weak position of the
foot. The pattern of stress assignment described here might
be a system in transition from a prominence-based one to a
metrical one.

 I have a possible example of the language described above,
but I'm looking for other instances of the same pattern. It
may be that there is a good reason why no languages have one
round of prominence-based stress assignment followed by a
round of foot-based stressing or it may be that this type
hasn't been reported before.

 There seem to be other issues here as well:

 a. If a prominence-based language develops metrical
structure will it be qs or qi?

 b. Does a.) depend on what counts as prominent? (So if
heavy syllables are prominent the language might develop qs
metrical structure, but if prominence is based on vowel
sonority or some other non-quantitative factor the metrical
structure might be qi.)

 c. Do languages with top-down stressing only assign stress
to the most marginal syllables of the word (modulo
non-finality if this is relevant)?

 d. In syllabic trochee languages, can (H) feet be found in
non-marginal positions? If they are, how is their
stressability determined in preference to being parsed into
binary feet? (This is a question about derivation. The OT
Weight-to-Stress Principle is the apparent answer but the
constraint is merely a stative device. It doesn't say how
such syllables come to be stressed.)

 d.) is, to some extent, a restatement of the original


 John Hutton
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