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Academic Paper


Title: Optimality re-investigation of Hindi stress system
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Phonology
Subject Language: Hindi
Abstract: The present paper is adapted from a course paper by me for an advanced phonology graduate course (LING 442), at University of Illinois during 1997. The paper attempts to re-investigate Hindi stress patterns from the Optimality Theory (OT) point of view. Hindi stress pattern has been investigated by several people - Kelkar (1968), Hayes (1991), Prince & Smolensky (1993) which has generated interest due to its variability and instability. However, Hindi stress system has been found to be more unstable and complicated than it may appear to be. Therefore, there is a need to re-investigate the relevant first hand data from more than one native speakers to see if the given OT constraint ordering is valid for Hindi or needs to be re-configured to handle variable cases, if any./L//L/Based on Kelkar's (1968) observations, Hayes' (1991) generalized that "stress falls on the heaviest available syllable, and in the event of a tie, the rightmost nonfinal candidate wins". This has some obvious complications as noted by Prince & Smolensky (1993). The latter have interpreted Hayes' "heaviest" to be the normal heavy syllable in the three way hierarchy of Hindi syllable weight:/L//L/CVVC, CVCC > CVV,CVC > CV/L//L/The syllable weight to stress relationship has been explained by the PK-PROM (peak prominence) constraint. The second complication in Hindi stress system as noted in Prince & Smolensky (1993) is the NONFINALITY constraint in stress assignment by which the prosodic head is nonfinal. The EDGEMOST constraint which requires the peak to be maximally near the edge has also been found to be operative in Hindi but ranked lowest in the hierarchy:/L//L/PK-PROM>> NONFINALITY>> EDGEMOST/L//L/This ranking of constraints has been used to explain valid and invalid (starred) stress markings in words with the following competing syllables/L//L/a. light vs. light:/L/ /L/s .mI'.tI (committee)/L/*s '.mI.tI /L/*s .mI.tI' /L//L/b. heavy vs. light:/L//L/kI.dh 'r (which way)/L/*kI'.dh r/L//L/c. heavy vs. heavy vs. light:/L//L/pU's.t .kee (books)/L/*pUs.t .ke'e/L/*pUs.t '.kee/L//L/d. superheavy vs. superheavy:/L//L/a'as.maa.jaah ? (Is this a Hindi word)/L/*aas.maa.ja'ah/L/*aas.ma'a.jaah/L//L/(these examples are from Hayes(1991) as quoted in Prince & Smolensky (1993))/L//L/The paper will examine the OT constraint ordering given above.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Kolkata-700009
Publication Info: Rainbow of Linguistics (Vol I, 2007, pp 72-78), T. Media Publication, 33, College Row, Kolkata-700009
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