Prosody and branching direction of phrasal compounds

Hisao Tokizaki


This paper investigates the prosody of phrasal compounds in Japanese, English and German. In a Japanese phrasal compound, a prosodic boundary can occur within a modifier phrase but not between the phrase and the head noun. Japanese phrasal compounds contrast with English and German phrasal compounds, where a pause may occur between the modifier phrase and the head noun but not within the modifier phrase. I argue that the prosodic differences between these languages are due to the branching direction of modifier phrases: Japanese phrasal compounds have left-branching modifiers while English and German phrasal compounds have right-branching modifiers. It is argued that the data of prosodic phrasing in these languages pose some problems for Match Theory (Elfner 2012), the edge-based theory (Selkirk & Tateishi 1988) and Generalized Insertion (Ackema & Neeleman 2004).


syntax-phonology interface; morphology; prosody

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Copyright (c) 2017 Hisao Tokizaki

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