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Recursive prosodic words in Kaqchikel (Mayan)

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      Abstract

      Following the development of Prosodic Hierarchy Theory (Selkirk 1984; Nespor & Vogel 1986), evidence has accumulated that prosodic categories may be recursively self-embedded (e.g. Selkirk 1995; Truckenbrodt 1999; Wagner 2010; Itô & Mester 2013, etc.). However, this conclusion is not universally accepted (e.g. Vogel 2009a), and even the need for prosodic categories has been recently disputed (e.g. Scheer 2012b).

      In this article I argue that the prefixal phonology of Kaqchikel provides clear and convincing evidence for unbounded (iterable) recursion of the prosodic word ω. Patterns of [ʔ]-insertion and degemination receive a simple, elegant treatment if recursion of the prosodic word is permitted. Theories of prosodic phonology which do without recursion are forced to resort to ad hoc stipulations to account for the same facts. Both derivational (e.g. Kiparsky 1982) and transderivational (e.g. Benua 2000) analyses of these patterns fail on morphological grounds. The overall conclusion is that both abstract prosodic structure and recursion of the prosodic word are indispensable parts of any theory of word-level phonology.

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      Most cited references 56

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      Articulatory strengthening at edges of prosodic domains.

      In this paper it is shown that at the edges of prosodic domains, initial consonant and final vowels have more extreme (less reduced) lingual articulations, which are called articulatory strengthening. Linguopalatal contact for consonants and vowels in different prosodic positions was compared, using reiterant-speech versions of sentences with a variety of phrasings read by three speakers of American English. Four prosodic domains were considered: the phonological word, the phonological (or intermediate) phrase, the intonational phrase, and the utterance. Domain-initial consonants show more linguopalatal contact than domain-medial or domain-final consonants, at three prosodic levels. Most vowels, on the other hand, show less linguopalatal contact in domain-final syllables compared to domain-initial and domain-medial. As a result, the articulatory difference between segments is greater around a prosodic boundary, increasing the articulatory contrast between consonant and vowels, and prosodic domains are marked at both edges. Furthermore, the consonant initial strengthening is generally cumulative, i.e., the higher the prosodic domain, the more linguopalatal contact the consonant has. However, speakers differed in how many and which levels were distinguished in this way. It is suggested that this initial strengthening could provide an alternative account for previously observed supralaryngeal declination of consonants. Acoustic duration of the consonants is also affected by prosodic position, and this lengthening is cumulative like linguopalatal contact, but the two measures are only weakly correlated.
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        The nature of the language faculty and its implications for evolution of language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky)

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          On derived domains in sentence phonology

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1]University of California, Santa Cruz, Stevenson Academic Services, 1156, High Street Santa Cruz, CA, US
            Contributors
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6160-7007
            Journal
            2397-1835
            Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
            Ubiquity Press
            2397-1835
            01 June 2018
            2018
            : 3
            : 1
            10.5334/gjgl.550
            Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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