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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Phonetics of Stress Manifestation: Segmental variation, syllable constituency, and rhythm Add Dissertation
Author: Miran Kim Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: State University of New York at Stony Brook, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): General Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology; Sociolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): Spanish
Director(s): Lori Repetti
Lisa Lavoie
Marie Huffman
José Elías-Ulloa

Abstract: This dissertation investigates how lexical stress in Spanish is
phonetically manifested within the syllable, and how stress manifestation
interacts with other prosodic effects, such as phrasal accent and initial
word-boundary effects. One of the challenges in the study of prosody is the
fact that multiple prosodic factors induce variation in a limited number of
phonetic dimensions. For this reason, results in the literature have often
been inconclusive or conflicting. The disentanglement of these prosodic
effects will help us understand the complex nature of prosody.

The results of this study show that stress effects can be identified
independently of phrasal level prominence (accent) and prosodic-boundary
effects (position in word). Among the prosodic effects, durational and
spectral properties clearly differentiate stressed onset and vowel from
their unstressed counterparts, but intensity does not. In addition,
similarities between stress and accent effects, grouped as 'prominence
effects', are distinguished from word-level boundary effects that are
conditioned by accent conditions. Finally, the results indicate that
syllable constituency can be involved in prosodic manifestation, possibly
constrained by higher-level prosody, such as isochrony (stress-timed vs.
syllable-timed rhythms). We identified apparent complementarity between
syllable constituents in the stress manifestation of two dialects of
Spanish, which can be attributed to two structural motivations. On the one
hand, syllable constituency is involved in segmental variation at the
lexical-level (stress); and on the other hand, a higher-level prosody
(isochronous rhythm) can play a role as an upper bound in constraining the
variability. A gestural account is provided to accommodate the asymmetric
contribution of syllable constituents to the temporal manifestation of stress.

The investigation of the phonetics of prosody manifestation provides us
insight into interrelations among prosodic factors, and the systematicity
behind the complexity of prosodic effects. It is hoped that this
dissertation contributes to a better understanding of prosody as a
well-structured grammatical component, and its connections to segmental
phenomena in languages.