Sahaptin: Between stress and tone

Sharon Hargus, Virginia Beavert


The Yakima dialect of Sahaptin has been described as a pitch accent language, but lately the category "pitch accent" has been questioned as a prosodic primitive. In this article we bring to light new data from reduplicated verbs found in texts. Trisyllabic and longer reduplicated verbs appear to have secondary stress, which is unexpected in a pitch accent language. We suggest that secondary stress surfaces in a PStem domain which meets certain minimal conditions of length. We conclude by sketching a two-dimensional typology of prosodic function with two scales, Word demarcation and Lexical contrast, and situate "canonical" stress, "canonical" tone and some in-between cases like Yakima Sahaptin within this typology.


Sahaptin; stress; pitch accent; secondary stress; texts

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Copyright (c) 2016 Sharon Hargus, Virginia Beavert

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