The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Mini-course 10/3 - Matthew Gordon (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Speaker: Matthew Gordon (UCSB)

Title: Prosodic domains and prominence in languages with long morphological words

Time: Thursday, October 3, 12:30pm-2:00 and 5:00pm-6:30

Location: 32-D461

Metrical stress theory has advanced considerably through the study of languages with highly agglutinative and polysynthetic morphological profiles since they contain the long words necessary to maximally differentiate stress systems. Properties for which languages with exceptionally long morphological words have provided crucial insight include, among others, iambic-trochaic asymmetries, ternary foot structure, the taxonomy of prominence, and the acquisition and computational modeling of metrical systems. Morphological complexity, however, also brings challenges to the analysis of prosody since long morphological words increase the likelihood of ambiguities in the source of prominence as a word- or phrase-level property and the possibility for otherwise rare or unattested mappings between prosodic and morphological domains, including single morphological words comprised of multiple prosodic words or even prosodic phrases.

This mini-course will examine prosodic domain and their relationship to morphological constituents in languages with the requisite morphological properties that give rise to a high density of long words. We will explore what is known about prosody in highly agglutinative and polysynthetic languages with the goals of discovering for this class of languages (at least preliminary) typological generalizations about prosodic domains and contextualizing these results within a broader prosodic theor. Material will be largely drawn from my work on a number of morphologically complex languages supplemented with published sources on other languages with similar morphological profiles.

Suggested Readings:
Baker, Brett. 2014. Word structure in Australian languages. In Koch, Harold and Rachel Nordlinger (eds.), *The languages and linguistics of Australia*, pp. 139-213. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Beck, David and David Bennett. 2007. Extending the prosodic hierarchy: Evidence from Lushootseed narrative. *Northwest Journal of Linguistics* 1, 1–34.
Bickel, B., and Zuñiga, F. (2017). The ‘word’ in polysynthetic languages: phonological and syntactic challenges. In M. Fortascue, M. Mithun, & N.  Evans (eds.), *The Oxford handbook of polysynthesis*, 158-186. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gordon, Matthew. 2005. An autosegmental/metrical model of Chickasaw intonation. In Sun-Ah Jun (ed.), *Prosodic typology: The phonology of intonation and phrasing*, pp. 301-30. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lovick, Olga, and Siri Tuttle. 2012.  The Prosody of Dena’ina narrative discourse. *International Journal of American Linguistics* 78, 293–334.
Stanton, Juliet. 2016. Learnability shapes typology: the case of themidpoint pathology. *Language* 92, 753-791.