Recent advances in Q Theory: Segment strength

Martha Schwarz, Myriam Lapierre, Karee Garvin, Sharon Inkelas


Using Q Theory, in which canonical segments are represented as a sequence of three subsegments, this paper develops a scale of vowel quantity, ranging from ‘superlight’ single v subsegments to ‘heavy’ or geminate vowels consisting of four subsegments. An Optimality-Theoretic analysis of quantity-sensitive stress assignment is developed, in which stress is preferred on vowels with more subsegments. A case study of the Jê language Panãra demonstrates that a single language can draw a four-way vowel quantity contrast, to which the stress system is sensitive.


segments; subsegments; Q Theory; quantity-sensitive stress; vowel length

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Copyright (c) 2019 Martha Schwarz, Myriam Lapierre, Karee Garvin, Sharon Inkelas

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