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Nordic Prosody

Proceedings of the Xth Conference, Helsinki 2008

Edited By Martti Vainio, Reijo Aulanko and Olli Aaltonen

This volume contains the revised texts of talks and posters given at the Nordic Prosody X conference, held at the University of Helsinki, in August 2008. The contributions by Scandinavian and other researchers cover a wide range of prosody-related topics from various theoretical and methodological points of view. Although the history of the conference series is Nordic and Scandinavian, the current volume presents studies that are of mainly Baltic origin in the sense that of the eight languages presented in the proceedings only English is not natively spoken around the Baltic Sea. Research issues addressed in the 25 articles include various aspects of speech prosody, their regional variation within and across languages as well as social and idiolectal variation. Speech technology and modelling of prosody are also addressed in more than one article.


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20. The morphological status of accent 2 in North Germanic simplex forms 205


THE MORPHOLOGICAL STATUS OF ACCENT 2 IN NORTH GERMANIC SIMPLEX FORMS Tomas Riad 1 The meaning of markedness The issue of markedness of tonal accents in North Germanic (most Swedish and Norwegian dialects) has never been settled. For a long time, it looked like there was reasonable agreement that the distinction was privative and that it was accent 2 that was marked, accent 1 representing default intonation (Sweet, 1877:155; Elert, 1964:197; Haugen, 1967; Kristoffersen, 1993; Riad, 1998). Recently – and radically – one dissertation and a series of articles instead argue that it is accent 1 that is marked, while accent 2 is the default in words of the relevant shape (Lahiri et al., 2005, 2006; Wetterlin, 2007). These are opposing views reached by people working within what is by and large the same general paradigm. How does that come to pass? The answer lies, it seems, in what expectations people ascribe to the notion of markedness, in particular whether representation is taken to be tied to markedness or not. 1 For instance, the celebrated dissertation of Gösta Bruce (1977) proposed that the representation of the tonal accents was equipollent, that is, both accents contained a lexical part, manifested as an initial fall (HL). The difference was one of alignment of that fall to the stressed syllable, giving rise to the contrast (HL* vs. H*L). At the same time, Bruce clearly maintains that there is an asymmetry in that accent 2 is marked and accent 1 is unmarked...

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