Vocalic segments and the phonetic basis of weight in Norwegian
Keywords:stress, Norwegian, MaxEnt, syllable weight
This paper revisits and expands on previous analyses of Norwegian syllable weight (Lunden 2006, 2013) and different rime shapes’ ability to draw stress. A production study was run to examine the durationally-based weight categorization of all possible Norwegian rime shapes in non-final and word-final positions. Specific attention is given to the behavior of word-final long vowels in open syllables, which may occur in the language but are relatively uncommon. Evidence regarding different rime shapes’ ability to draw stress is shown through the results of a perception study which probed listeners’ preference for penultimate versus final stress with different rime shape combinations, including those which would result in a word-final long vowel if stressed. These preferences are compared to the results of a Maximum Entropy Model (Goldwater et al. 2003) of Norwegian stress assignment based on a corpus of loan words. We conclude that final long vowels are in fact phonologically heavy, and while they are relatively rare in the lexicon of Norwegian, native speakers tolerate them surprisingly well.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.