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In this course we will examine the prosodic phonology of words from a theoretical and typological perspective. Our initial concerns will be to determine the ways in which the word domain can receive phonological marking and to understand how these phonological markings should be interpreted. While we will cover clear cases of stress, tone, duration, and harmony, much of our focus will be on interpreting ambiguous cases of prosodic phenomena which may or may not be best analyzed in terms of “accent” (which we will attempt to define). This includes both systems such as Japanese, where tonal contrasts are sparse, as well as well as systems, such as Ibibio, Tiene and Kera, where metrical structures are proposed to account for segmental contrasts and phonetic realizations. In the course of our discussion we will raise the question of whether all languages have word accent of one sort or another or whether a language may lack word-level prosody altogether.
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A basic course in phonology.