Weekly Digest – April 15, 2019

Today we have our last colloquium of the year!

Today, Monday (04/15), at 3:30pm in the Conference Room: Argyro Katsika (UCSB) will present “The role of lexical stress in an integrated model of prosodic structure“, followed by a reception. Here is the abstract:

The role of lexical stress in an integrated model of prosodic structure 

Models of prosody have been considering boundaries, prominence, and rhythm as independent, and with boundaries, their temporal, tonal and pausal dimensions as also independent. Our work probes their integration, and reveals that lexical stress plays a pivotal role. Using kinematic data of Greek, we begin by assessing the effect of prominence in the coordination of temporal, tonal and constriction events at prosodic boundaries. We show that lexical stress, but not pitch accent, has a parallel effect on boundary lengthening and boundary tone coordination. Both events are initiated earlier within phrase-final words with non-final stress as opposed to final stress. The effect of stress extends to the articulatory configurations during inter-phrasal pauses, which reach their point of achievement later in words with final stress than in words with non-final stress and at a stable temporal distance from boundary tone onsets. Examining next the supralaryngeal kinematic control of prominence, we find that stressed articulatory gestures are longer, larger and faster than their unstressed counterparts, regardless of the accentual status of the former or the latter. Focusing on the durational dimension, we demonstrate that prominence-induced lengthening extends over a continuous stretch of speech, beginning before and ending after the stressed syllable. Importantly, its exact scope depends on the position of stress within the word and the position of the word within the phrase. This work brings linguistic attention to the ways that prosodic events and prosodic levels interact, and unites so far independently treated temporal, tonal and pausal events. The cross-linguistic dimensions of this account and its implications for theories of prosodic structure are discussed.

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