Phase-based Constraints within Match Theory

Natalie Weber


This paper argues that Match Theory (Selkirk 2011) cannot account for some types of phrasal syntax-prosody correspondence in Blackfoot (Algonquian; Frantz 2017). I focus on the verbal complex and show that the verbal complex contains phrasal syntactic structure all the way up to a CP phrase, and that it contains two distinct prosodic constituents corresponding the vP/VP and the CP, respectively. Since the verbal complex contains phrasal syntax, theories of phrasal syntax-prosody correspondences should apply. I argue that the definitions of the syntactic units which correspond to prosodic constituents must be redefined based on phases, and show how a phase-based revision of Match Theory can account for the syntax-prosody correspondence in Blackfoot verbal complexes. The result is a unified theory of the prosodic phonology of stems and phrases which is built on universal syntactic definitions. Although Match Theory is the theoretical focus of this paper, the evidence from Blackfoot implies that phrasal syntax-prosody correspondences can and should be brought 'below the word' in any theory of prosodic phonology.


Blackfoot; Algonquian; syntax-phonology interface; prosodic structure

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