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Book: Harmonic Grammar and Harmonic Serialism

Chapter: 9. Stress-epenthesis Interactions in Harmonic Serialism

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24948


Typologically, epenthetic vowels may be treated in diverse ways by stress systems: in some languages, epenthetic vowels disturb an otherwise regular stress pattern, while in others, epenthetic vowels are treated no differently from underlying vowels. Further, epenthetic vowels may be treated non-uniformly within a single language: epenthetic vowels may bear stress in certain environments, but not others. The phonological literature has been divided as to whether stress assignment in these “opaque” languages derives from the ordering of rules for stress and epenthesis, or from the parallel interaction of violable constraints (as in a “classic” OT framework). This chapter develops an account of stress-epenthesis interactions within the framework of Harmonic Serialism, and argues that this approach, which combines serialism and optimization, better accounts for the range of patterns that are found cross-linguistically than previous accounts using strictly rule-based or parallel frameworks.

Chapter Contributors

  • Emily Elfner ( - eelfner) 'McGill University'