AuthorHewitt, Mark S.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractOne of the pillars of phonological research has been the desirability of representing phonological processes as being local in application. Locality, as a principle of the grammar, constrains the relation between the trigger and target elements of a phonological process to one of adjacency. Adjacency, within the framework of Autosegmental Phonology and Underspecification theory, consists of two varieties: tier adjacency and structural adjacency (Myers (1987)). Tier adjacency examines linear relations among elements within an isolated tier of the representation (e.g. the tonal tier), while structural adjacency examines these relations mediated through the skeletal core, which organizes and maintains the linear relations between phonemes and their constituent elements. Locality and Adjacency are not, simply the preserve of featural relations and their skeletal core. The core itself, whether viewed as C/V slots, X/X' timing slots, or Root nodes, is organized into the grander structures of the Prosodic Hierarchy (e.g. syllable, Foot, etc.) . The formation of these units is a phonological process and as such subject to the same principles. A portion of the on -going debates in metrical theory has focused on whether metrical structure, in particular Foot structure, is limited to binary constituents. Kager (1989) proposes an extreme Binarism, with all metrical structure initially being limited to binarity. Hayes (1987) and Prince (1990) only commit to a strong preference for binary Feet. Halle & Vergnaud (1987) propose a system allowing binary, ternary, and unbounded Feet. The principle of Locality with its requirement of adjacency argues for a binary -view of metrical structure where the trigger and target of the structure building process are un- metrified elements. The most serious challenge to this view is the existence of languages which employ ternary constituents, e.g. Cayuvava, Chugach Alutiiq. These languages have been cited as evidence in arguing for a theory capable of generating ternary Feet. In a framework designed to maintain strict locality surface ternary constituents must be derived from underlying binary structures. This paper proposes a solution to this problem which relies on the ternary constituent being a complex constituent composed of a binary Foot grouped with an adjacent syllable. This constituent is not a Foot, but rather a Prosodic Word. Generating an iterative ternary Prosodic Word requires a new algorithm for building metrical structure. This algorithm builds metrical constituents in an opportunistic manner. Opportunistic building creates metrical constituents as soon as possible, instead of applying one particular structure building rule across the whole string before the next rule applies. This paper examines these issues through the metrical structures of the Alutiiq dialects described by Leer (1985a). The rich and detailed work of Leer serves admirably as a base for elucidating the issues of ternarity. Unfortunately, the ramifications of these proposals beyond the issue of ternarity can only be briefly alluded to in this paper. Length constraints do not permit me to present all aspects of these proposals in the full detail they require for their justification.
Series/Report no.Arizona Phonology Conference Vol. 4