STRESS AND SYLLABLE STRUCTURE IN ENGLISH: APPROACHES TO PHONOLOGICAL VARIATIONS
San Duanmu ; Hyo-Young Kim ; Nathan Stiennon
We use phonological variation to refer to alternative forms that are available in a language, such as different syllable structures or word stress patterns in English. We discuss several approaches to such variations and argue for a new approach, in which all alternative forms observe a set of inviolable constraints. In particular, we propose that all English words observe four constraints: (a) a foot must be disyllabic, (b) stressed syllables must be heavy, (c) heavy syllables must have stress, and (d) the maximal syllable is CVX. We discuss the implications of our proposal for Optimality Theory and for the analysis of linguistic variation in general.