Stress assignment in Hittite and Proto-Indo-European

Anthony D Yates

Abstract


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.

Keywords


phonological change; historical linguistics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v1i0.3722

Copyright (c) 2016 Anthony D Yates

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