Dimensions of Phonological Stress

Cambridge University Press
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Stress and accent are central, organizing features of grammar, but their precise nature continues to be a source of mystery and wonder. These issues come to the forefront in acquisition, where the tension between the abstract mental representations and the concrete physical manifestations of stress and accent is deeply reflected. Understanding the nature of the representations of stress and accent patterns, and understanding how stress and accent patterns are learned, informs all aspects of linguistic theory and language acquisition. These two themes - representation and acquisition - form the organizational backbone of this book. Each is addressed along different dimensions of stress and accent, including the position of an accent or stress within various prosodic domains and the acoustic dimensions along which the pronunciation of stress and accent may vary. The research presented in the book is multidisciplinary, encompassing theoretical linguistics, speech science, and computational and experimental research.
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About the author

Jeffrey Heinz (PhD 2007, University of California, Los Angeles) is an associate professor at the University of Delaware. He conducts research at the intersection of theoretical linguistics, theoretical computer science, and computational learning theory. With Rob Goedemans and Harry van der Hulst, he helped develop the StressTyp2 database, which organizes and presents information on the stress and accent patterns in hundreds of languages around the world.

Rob Goedemans (PhD 1998, Universiteit Leiden) conducts research regarding the phonetics, phonology, and typology of stress in the languages of the world in general, and the languages of Aboriginal Australia and Indonesia in particular. Together with Harry van der Hulst, he has worked on several publications based on the StressTyp database, with which he has been involved since its inception. Currently, Rob is employed in the Departments of Communications and Information Management at the Humanities Faculty of Universiteit Leiden.

Harry van der Hulst (PhD 1984, Universiteit Leiden) specializes in phonology, which is the study of the sounds systems of languages, as well as the visual aspects of sign languages. He has published twenty-five books and over 130 articles. He has held (guest) positions at Universiteit Leiden, Universität Salzburg, the University of Girona, Skidmore College, New York, New York University, and Cornell University, New York. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the international linguistic journal The Linguistic Review since 1990. He is currently (since 2000) Professor of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut.

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Additional Information

Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Nov 24, 2016
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Computers / Natural Language Processing
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Phonetics & Phonology
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Harry van der Hulst
In part I of this volume, experts on various language areas provide surveys of word stress/accent systems of as many languages in 'their' part of the world as they could lay their hands on. No preconditions (theoretical or otherwise) were set, but the authors were encouraged to use the StressTyp data in their chapters.

Australian Languages (Rob Goedemans), Austronesian Languages (Ellen van Zanten, Ruben Stoel and Bert Remijsen), Papuan Languages (Ellen van Zanten and Philomena Dol), North American Languages (Keren Rice), South American Languages (Sergio Meira and Leo Wetzels), African Languages (Laura Downing), European Languages (Harry van der Hulst), Asian Languages (Harry van der Hulst and René Schiering), Middle Eastern Languages (Harry van der Hulst and Sam Hellmuth).

There is an introductory chapter (Chapter 1) that will provide the reader with elementary terminology and theoretical tools to understand the variety of accentual systems that will be discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. Chapter 2 has a double function. It presents an overview of stress patterns in Australian languages, but at the same time it is intended to (re-)familiarize readers with the coding, terminology and theoretical ideas of the StressTyp database. Chapter 11 presents statistical and typological information from the StressTyp database. Part II of this volume contains 'language profiles' which are, for each of the 511 languages contained in StressTyp (in 2009), extracts from the information that is contained in the database.

This volume will be of interest to people in the field of theoretical phonology and language typology. It will function as a reference work for these groups of researchers, but also, more generally, for people working on syntax and other fields of linguistics, who might wish to know certain basic facts about the distribution of word accent systems

Harry van der Hulst
The present volume is an edited collection of original contributions which all deal with the issue of recursion in human language(s). All contributions originate as papers that were presented at a conference on the topic of recursion in human language organized by Dan Everett in March 22, 2007. For the purpose of this collection all articles underwent a double-blind peer-review process. The present chapters were written in the course of 2008.

Although the ‘recursive’ nature of linguistic expressions, i.e. the apparent possibility of producing an infinite number of expressions with finite means, has been noted for a long time, no general agreement seems to exist concerning the empirical status as well as mathematical formalization of this ‘characteristic’ of human languages or of the grammars that lie behind these utterances that make up these languages.

Renewed interest in this subject was sparked by recent claims that ‘recursion’ is perhaps the sole uniquely human and as such universal trait of human language (cf. Chomsky, Hauser and Fitch 2000). In this volume, the issue of recursion is tackled from a variety of angles. Some articles cover formal issues regarding the proper characterization or definition of recursion, while others focus on empirical issues by examining the kinds of structure in languages that suggest recursive mechanism in the grammar. Most articles discuss syntactic phenomena, but several involve morphology, the lexicon and phonology. In addition, we find discussions that involve evolutionary notions and language disorders, and the broader cognitive context of recursion.

Jeffrey Heinz
This book provides a thorough introduction to the subfield of theoretical computer science known as grammatical inference from a computational linguistic perspective. Grammatical inference provides principled methods for developing computationally sound algorithms that learn structure from strings of symbols. The relationship to computational linguistics is natural because many research problems in computational linguistics are learning problems on words, phrases, and sentences: What algorithm can take as input some finite amount of data (for instance a corpus, annotated or otherwise) and output a system that behaves "correctly" on specific tasks? Throughout the text, the key concepts of grammatical inference are interleaved with illustrative examples drawn from problems in computational linguistics. Special attention is paid to the notion of "learning bias." In the context of computational linguistics, such bias can be thought to reflect common (ideally universal) properties of natural languages. This bias can be incorporated either by identifying a learnable class of languages which contains the language to be learned or by using particular strategies for optimizing parameter values. Examples are drawn largely from two linguistic domains (phonology and syntax) which span major regions of the Chomsky Hierarchy (from regular to context-sensitive classes). The conclusion summarizes the major lessons and open questions that grammatical inference brings to computational linguistics.
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