LSSlaL 15: The Evolution of Fixed Stress in Slavic

Product no.: ISBN 9783895866302
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The Evolution of Fixed Stress in Slavic

Matthew Baerman
University of Surrey

The Evolution of Fixed Stress in Slavic is the first book-length treatment of the development of fixed stress systems in the Slavic languages. The complex system of morphological stress found in the ancestral language has been replaced in a number of the contemporary languages by phonologically fixed stress (e.g. initial as in Czech, penultimate as in Polish or antepenultimate as in Macedonian). The details of this major morphological innovation have remained unclear, as there is no textual evidence. Instead, this book address this problem through dialect geography, looking at areas where the transition from free to fixed stress is still discernible as a dialect continuum.

Three languages in which fixed stress arose independently are examined, namely Kashubian (West Slavic), Macedonian (South Slavic) and the Carpathian dialects of Ukrainian (East Slavic). Each area is treated as a separate case study, with the prosodic and morphological factors leading to fixed stress clearly distinguished. The formal analysis is in terms of Optimality Theory, which allows for a graphic portrayal of the interaction of prosody and morphology . It is evident that the decisive prosodic factor is a prosodically motivated ban on final stress, which triggers a chain of morphological innovations, remarkably similar in all three cases. This book should be of interest to Slavists, and to all linguists interested in diachronic accentology.

ISBN 9783895866302. LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics 15. 260pp. 1999.

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