Minimality and foot structure in metrical phonology and prosodic morphology.
AuthorCrowhurst, Megan Jane
KeywordsLanguage and linguistics.
AdvisorArchangeli, Diana B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation develops a theory of minimality and foot structure in metrical phonology and prosodic morphology. Central to the theory is the proposal that whether foot structures may be satisfied by a minimum of phonological content is determined by specifying binary values for a new parameter, the Minimal Structure Parameter. The theory of minimality is embedded within a larger theory of prosody which construes metrical footing as mapping to templates. Under this view, metrical templates are subject to the same universal principles, for example Template Satisfaction and Maximization of Association, which constrain association to templates in morphological foot mapping and syllabification. The dissertation argues that the Minimal Structure Parameter together with these principles provides not only a uniform account of diverse metrical phenomena, but offers in addition a principled treatment of an unexpected parallel between metrical and morphological systems: morphological foot structures as well as those in metrical systems may permit subcanonical exemplars of feet. In addition to the parallel just noted, the dissertation finds two differences between metrical and morphological foot structures. First, while metrical feet must specify head elements, morphological feet do not require them. One argument is based on templatic asymmetries between metrical and morphological surface foot inventories. The occurrence of certain foot structures in metrical systems but not in morphology (e.g. trisyllabic feet [σ σ σ], Revised Obligatory Branching feet [σμμ σ]) is explained under the theory of minimality and headship developed within. Second, the minimal constraint on metrical feet is either one or two morae, whereas the minimum for subcanonical feet in morphology is two morae. This is also made to follow from the head/no-head distinction: a metrical foot can be no smaller than the smallest head permitted by the language. In morphology where feet do not specify heads, Minimal Structure defaults to the universal inventory of feet and imposes as the minimal criterion the smallest foot template defined by UG--the bimoraic foot. This work contributes to prosodic theory in (i) aligning theory with data, (ii) aligning metrical theory in particular with theories of templates in morphology and syllabification, and (iii) defining more precisely one constraint on templatic association.