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LINGUIST List 17.1656

Thu Jun 01 2006

Diss: Phonetics: Lunden: 'Weight, Final Lengthening and Stress: A p...'

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        1.    S.L. Anya Lunden, Weight, Final Lengthening and Stress: A phonetic and phonological case study of Norwegian

Message 1: Weight, Final Lengthening and Stress: A phonetic and phonological case study of Norwegian
Date: 01-Jun-2006
From: S.L. Anya Lunden <lundenucsc.edu>
Subject: Weight, Final Lengthening and Stress: A phonetic and phonological case study of Norwegian

Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Anya Lunden

Dissertation Title: Weight, Final Lengthening and Stress: A phonetic and phonological case study of Norwegian

Dissertation URL: http://people.ucsc.edu/~lunden/dissertation.html

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Subject Language(s): Norwegian, Bokmål (nob)

Dissertation Director:
Armin Mester
Jaye Padgett

Dissertation Abstract:

Many languages, including Norwegian, exhibit CVC weight asymmetry: CVC is
usually heavy but behaves as light word-finally. It is proposed that this
asymmetry is motivated by facts of phonetic length and human perception. A
theory of weight is advanced in which a syllable shape in a given position
is only heavy if it, on average, is sufficiently proportionally longer than
an unstressed (necessarily light) CV in the same position. A syllable will
need to be extra-long word-finally in order to be categorized as heavy
because a final CV is notably longer than a non-final CV due to final
lengthening. Analyzing weight as requiring a minimum proportional increase
reflects human perception of differences: the same raw increase has less of
a perceptual effect when added to a relatively long stimulus. Using the
results of a production study it is shown that heavy syllables in Norwegian
are at least 60% greater than unstressed CV syllables in the same position,
putting the weight criterion at a 60% proportional increase. It is shown
that a final CVC falls short of this proportional increase threshold with
only an average increase of 27% over a same-position CV.

The stress system of Norwegian is analyzed in detail, taking the
categorization of syllable weight to be pre-determined by the weight
criterion. Evidence for the stress pattern of the language is drawn from
the lexicon and the results of a novel word experiment administered to
native Norwegian speakers. The regular stress patterns in the language are
shown to include not only the predominant stress pattern of the language
but also several minor patterns, predictable exceptions to the basic
pattern. This identification of basic and minor patterns in conjunction
with the weight criterion based on the proportional increase threshold
allows for a more motivated and complete analysis of Norwegian stress than
has previously been proposed.

The proportional increase theory of weight provides a phonetically and
perceptually motivated explanation for the CVC weight asymmetry thus
replacing final consonant extrametricality, the traditional descriptive
mechanism. Other forms of extrametricality are proposed to be
reinterpretable if the perceptual consequences of final lengthening are
considered. While the analysis of weight is consistent with the basic
tenets of moraic theory, a departure is made from standard moraic theory
which takes moras to be prosodic units associated directly to segments.
The theory of weight proposed treats moras a property of syllables as a whole.

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