The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 5/11 - Anton Kukhto (MIT)

Speaker: Anton Kukhto (MIT)
Title: Accent in Uspanteko (Bennett & Henderson 2013)
Time: Monday, May 11th, 5:00-6:30pm
We will discuss a 2013 paper by Ryan Bennett and Robert Henderson, “Accent in Uspanteko” (NLLT 31). Within the K’ichean branch of Mayan languages, Uspanteko is unique in having a contrastive pitch accent, which interacts with non-contrastive stress. Bennett and Henderson provide a foot-based analysis of this interaction that derives the observed pattern of default final stress and tone-triggered stress shift. These patterns, as the authors themselves note, can easily be described in non-metrical terms, yet there seems to be robust evidence for feet in the language. This sort of evidence will be central in our discussion.