Torres-Tamarit, F., et al., “Branchingness constraints on heads and dependents in Munster Irish stress”, Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 2 (2017) – online

From CODECS: Online Database and e-Resources for Celtic Studies
Torres-Tamarit and Hermans 2017 1

Torres-Tamarit, Francesc, and Ben Hermans, “Branchingness constraints on heads and dependents in Munster Irish stress”, Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 2:1 (2017): 99.

Citation details
“Branchingness constraints on heads and dependents in Munster Irish stress”
Abstract (cited)
This paper readdresses the bounds between rhythm and constituency. It argues in favor of an arboreal representation of the metrical grid in which both metrical prominence, that is, grid marks, and prosodic categories are conflated into the same dimension even at the level of the syllable. These constituentized metrical grids are subject to branchingness constraints on heads and dependents. The research focus is on Munster Irish stress, which illustrates an intricate system of stress assignment. Stress in Munster Irish is assigned to the first syllable in strings containing light (L) syllables, ˈLLLL. Sequences of a H syllable followed by a L syllable always attract primary stress to the H syllable regardless of the position of the sequence within the phonological string, ˌLLLˈHL (cf. ˈLLLˌHH). These facts suggest that uneven trochees (ˈHL) always attract primary stress and therefore might exist as a legitimate metrical grouping. Initial primary stress is also avoided if the third syllable counting from the left edge of the word is H. Thus, a word like /LLH/ is parsed with optional initial secondary stress and primary stress on the H syllable, ˌLLˈH (cf. ˈLLLˌH). The contrast between ˌLLˈH and ˈLLLˌH suggests that some kind of trimoraic constituent determining the location of word stress is necessary.
Subject classification
Modern Irish

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General and various


Munster Irish, stress, syllable, metrical grid, branchingness constraints

web page identifiers
Dennis Groenewegen