Prosodic Evidence for Recursion?
Michael Wagner
December 2007
 

The prosody of a linguistic expression, like its meaning, reflects its internal compositional structure. Two kinds of potential prosodic evidence for syntactic recursion are distinguished: A generalization about a prosodic property could be recursive in that it requires a recursive evaluation of the internal structure of a complex expression; more direct evidence for recursion could consist of a prosodic property that can encode indefinitely many degrees of syntactic embedding. Generalizations about prominence and boundary strength are argued to be recursive in nature in the first sense, and thus indirectly reflect syntactic recursion; it is less clear, however, to what extent they can distinguish degrees of syntactic embedding and thus be recursive in the second sense.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000568
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Ms. Cornell University
keywords: prosody, recursion, nuclear stress, boundary strength, phrasing, phonology, syntax
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