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Syntax Prosody in Optimality Theory

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Optimality Theory has become the dominant approach to studying phonology, including analyses of the mapping from syntactic structure to prosodic structure. However, when both syntactic and prosodic structures are represented as trees, it is difficult, if not impossible, to systematically generate by hand all the possible candidates, i.e., all the possible prosodic parses that must be considered in an OT investigation for any given syntactic input. Consequently, most existing syntax-prosody analyses are in this way incomplete, compromising their very validity. This volume presents a series of studies of the syntax-prosody interface that are complete in this sense, thanks to their use of the SPOT application ( ). This JavaScript application (developed by the editors) automates candidate generation and constraint evaluation, making a rigorous OT analysis of syntax-prosody possible. SPOT allows the user to test the typological predictions of the numerous proposed constraints on prosodic markedness and syntax-prosody mapping, so that researchers can make progress toward determining which formulations of the constraints should actually be part of the universal CON. A theme of the volume is comparing Match Theory (Selkirk 2011) with the older Align Theory of syntax-prosody mapping, with the finding that both are needed, at least in some languages.

Published: Mar 1, 2022


Section Chapter Authors
SPOT Tutorial Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda
Part 1: GEN Settings
1. Why SPOT? Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda
2. GEN Settings and Constraint Interactions in Kinyambo Max Tarlov
Part 2: Mapping Constraints
3. Solving the Ranking Paradox of Irish Phrasing in OT Jennifer Bellik, Junko Ito, Nick Kalivoda, Armin Mester
4. Asymmetry in Japanese Prosodic (Mis)matching: The Need for Align and Match Junko Ito, Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda, Armin Mester
5. Align-driven Clitic Movement in Chamorro Richard Bibbs
6. Visibility Settings for Match Theory: The Case of Italian Nicholas Van Handel
Part 3: Prosodic Well-formedness Constraints
7. Typological Consequences of Binarity Constraints Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda, Nicholas Van Handel
8. Precisifying EqualSisters and StrongStart Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda
9. Syntax and Visibility Determine Constraint Interactions Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda