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University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Abstract

This paper explores the nature of prosodic phrasing in Kashaya, an endangered language of northern California, as diagnosed by the location of accent. Previous work has reported that iambic feet are constructed across prosodic phrases that can consist of multiple words, but there has been little research into how these p-phrases interact with syntactic constituency. We propose an alignment analysis in which the right edge of XP usually corresponds to the end of a p-phrase. But prosodic considerations, in particular an avoidance of phrase-final accent and a preference for a right-branching intonational phrase, can override the alignment of prosodic and syntactic constituency and sometimes leads to mismatches. An examination of a text corpus reveals general pressures against final accent, which can be avoided by accent suppression and leftward retraction as well as the choice of prosodic phrasing. Syllabification across a word boundary also encourages certain groupings in order to satisfy crisp edge-alignment of prosodic categories, showing a further influence of pure prosody rather than alignment with the syntactic edges.

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