Please join us for our second colloquium of the semester!
Who: Emily Elfner (McGill University)
When: Friday 10/4, 3:30pm
Where: Education 433
Title: Recursion in prosodic phrasing: Evidence from Connemara Irish
One function of prosodic phrasing is its role in aiding the recoverability of syntactic structure. In recent years, a growing body of work suggests it is possible to find concrete phonetic and phonological evidence that recursion in syntactic structure is preserved in the prosodic organization of utterances (Ladd 1986, 1988; Kubozono 1989, 1992; Féry & Truckenbrodt 2005; Wagner 2005, 2010). In this talk, I argue that the distribution of phrase-level tonal accents in Connemara Irish provides a new type of evidence in favour of this hypothesis: that, under ideal conditions, syntactic constituents are mapped onto prosodic constituents in a one-to-one fashion, such that information about the nested relationships between syntactic constituents is preserved through the recursion of prosodic domains. Through an empirical investigation of both clausal and nominal constructions, I argue that the distribution of phrase accents in Connemara Irish can be used to identify recursive bracketing in prosodic structure.