LSGL 03: Swedish Word Accents

Product no.: ISBN 9783895862106
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Swedish Word Accents

Anne-Marie Andreasson
University of Wisconsin

Swedish words are assigned one of two possible melodic contours traditionally called Accent 1 and Accent 2. "It has been demonstrated ... that the distinction between Accent 1 and Accent 2 is in the timing of a HL [High Low] pattern relative to the stressed syllable." (Bailey 1990:70). Bailey proposes a feature DP [delayed peak] for tone alignment, which serves as phonological opposition and alignment specification. [- delayed peak] aligns with the stressed syllable [+delayed peak] aligns with the post -stress syllable Dialects are divided into two main classes, the Low and the High dialects. For the minimal pair anden 'the duck' and anden 'the spirit', Bailey gives the following surface representation (H dialects):

accent 1     accent 2
H L      H L
    -DP            +DP
|  /             |  |
anden 'the duck'  anden 'the spirit'

Within Optimal Domains Theory the distinction between accents is expressed as a distinction in pitch domain, the domain being "an explicit aspect of phonological structure" (Cole and Kisseberth, 1994) and the interaction of constraints determines the output. The domain extends over the stressed syllable or over the stressed and the post-stress syllable:

accent 1      accent 2
H L       H L
| /       | |
(an)den 'the duck'  (anden) 'the spirit'

This account provides a principled way of relating the general trends observed by previous researchers and makes the relationship between stress, morphology and accent explicit.

ISBN 9783895862106. LINCOM Studies in Germanic Linguistics 03. 220pp. 2001.

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