Adjunction and Branchingness Effects in Syntax-Prosody Mapping

Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda


Match Theory (Selkirk 2011) and approaches to syntax-prosody mapping involving alignment and Wrap(XP) (Truckenbrodt 1995, 1999) insist that syntatic phrases at least partially map onto phonological phrases. Each approach specifies that certain XPs are visible for mapping, while others are not. Both Truckenbrodt (1999) and Selkirk (2011) suggest that when an XP hosts an adjunct, only the lower segment of that XP is visible at the interface. We undertake several case studies of these theories' predictions, drawing primarily on data from phrasing in the Bantu language Kinyambo (Bickmore 1990), in order to address the proper interpretation of syntactic adjunction structures at the syntax-phonology interface. To do so, we employ a new JavaScript application which we have developed, Syntax-Prosody in Optimality Theory (SPOT; Bellik, Bellik, & Kalivoda 2016) allowing us to automatically generate and evaluate prosodic tree structures of arbitrary length and depth. We conclude that high segments of XP in syntactic adjunction structures must be visible to Match (pace Selkirk 2011) in order to predict attested prosodic phrasings in Kinyambo, and that treatments of adjunction which ignore the highest segment of a maximal projection make surprising and possibly problematic predictions.


phonological phrasing; Match Theory; alignment; syntax-prosody mapping; adjunction; Kinyambo

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Copyright (c) 2016 Jennifer Bellik, Nick Kalivoda

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