Information Structure Features and Syntax-prosody Mapping of Bangla Embedded Clauses: Implications for Match Theory

Brian Hsu


In both the Alignment (Selkirk 1986, 1996) and Match (Selkirk 2009, 2011) theories of syntax-prosody correspondence, prosodic structure is formed by mapping syntactic constituent structure to a corresponding prosodic representation. Under standard assumptions that mapping constraints reference only syntactic phrasehood or category, these parameters do not account for certain cases where the same syntactic category is prosodified differently in different syntactic contexts. This paper presents data on clausal prosody in Bangla (a.k.a. Bengali), where the prosodic status of embedded clauses varies depending on their positions within the main clause, which in turn correlate with different discourse interpretations. I argue that these patterns are the result of restrictions on the inventory of syntax-prosody mapping constraints. Contra the view of Focus Prominence Theory (Truckenbrodt 1995, 1999; Selkirk 2005, 2007), I propose that Match constraints that reference the intonational phrase level do not reference syntactic category alone, and must additionally be associated with information structure features on clauses (i.e. focus, topic).


Syntax-prosody interface; Match Theory; intonational phrasing

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Copyright (c) 2016 Brian Hsu

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