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Accent in Proto Indo European Athematic Nouns

Accent in Proto Indo European Athematic Nouns

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Published by: sijnesio on May 25, 2012
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Accent in Proto-Indo-European Athematic Nouns:Antifaithfulness in Inflectional Paradigms
Melissa Frazier A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina atChapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Linguistics.Chapel Hill2006Approved byAdvisor: Jennifer L. SmithReader: H. Craig MelchertReader: Elliott Moreton
 ii © 2006Melissa Frazier ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Melissa Frazier: Accent In Proto-Indo-European Athematic Nouns: Antifaithfulness inInflectional Paradigms(Under the direction of Jennifer L. Smith)This paper examines four accent patterns displayed by athematic nouns in Proto-Indo-European. Each accent pattern is distinguished by either alternating stress or vowel quality between “weak” forms (nominative, accusative, vocative) and “strong” forms. I argue thatsurface stress is the result of the interplay of the lexical accent specifications of themorphemes that compose the stem. The strong endings are classified as dominant and arethus responsible for the accent/ablaut alternations.Optimality Theory is used to provide a synchronic phonological analysis of athematicnoun accent. The weak forms are accounted for with a ranking of faithfulness and alignmentconstraints, including a positional faithfulness ranking in which faithfulness to roots is preferred over faithfulness to derivational affixes. The strong endings, which are dominant,trigger antifaithfulness constraints (Alderete 1999), and so a new type of antifaithfulnessconstraint is introduced that works within inflectional paradigms, based on the OptimalParadigms model (McCarthy 2005).

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