Stress assignment in Hittite and Proto-Indo-European

Anthony D Yates


This paper develops a new optimality theoretic analysis of lexical accent in Hittite (Anatolian, Indo-European). I demonstrate that Hittite synchronic stress assignment is consistent with Kiparsky and Halle's (1977) Basic Accentuation Principle, which assigns primary stress to the leftmost morpheme lexically specified for prosodic prominence or else to the left edge of a prosodic word. The Hittite evidence is thus shown to converge with Kiparsky and Halle's reconstruction of this principle for the common ancestor of the non-Anatolian Indo-European languages (i.e. Proto-Nuclear-Indo-European), and in view of this agreement, argued to be reconstructible for Proto-Indo-European itself.


phonological change; historical linguistics

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2016 Anthony D Yates

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.