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Title:Syllable "sonority" hierarchy and the stress patterns in Pulaar. A metrical approach
Author(s):Niang, Mamadou Ousmane
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kisseberth, Charles W.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:"Syllable weight is usually viewed as a binary opposition... " (Hayes, 1989). That is, distinctions are seen in terms of heavy versus light, bimoraic versus monomoraic syllables. An analysis of the metrical structure and other phonological processes of Pulaar, a member of the West Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo Language Family (Greenberg, 1955 & Niang, 1989), shows the need for further distinctions beyond the generally admitted binary distinctions. Also, in contrast to other views according to which only a two-way-weight distinction prevails in languages, I argue and show that Pulaar makes a four-way-weight distinction. I argue that word stress assignment in Pulaar is heavily dependent upon the "sonority" of the syllables in the string. Four sonority levels emerge: CV $<$ CVC $<$ CVV $<$ CVVC. CVVC is more "sonorous" than CVV which is more "sonorous" than CVC which in turn is more "sonorous" than CV. Using this "sonority" hierarchy among the syllables permitted in the language, I provide a comprehensive analysis of the metrical system of Pulaar at the word and sentence levels. Besides I argue and show that Pulaar stress patterns are highly predictable in contrast to other views according to which "The identification of the stressed syllable in a word is not a simple matter." (McIntosh, 1984) p. 20
Furthermore, I show the inadequacy of previous analyses proposed by Taylor (1953), Arnottt (1970), MacIntosh (1984), Prunet and Tellier (1984).
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Niang, Mamadou Ousmane
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9329121
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9329121

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