Re: Serbocroatian accent, was: Split-Ergativity Madness
|From:||Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, October 6, 2001, 0:35|
Vasiliy, thank you for expressing so eloquently what I knew, but I could
never have said it so well!
On Fri, 5 Oct 2001, Vasiliy Chernov wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Oct 2001 19:51:44 EDT, David Peterson <DigitalScream@...>
> > On a side note, has anyone heard anything about Swedish, Japanese and
> >Serbo-Croat being pitch-accent languages?
> I have very little experience with Serbocroatian (Frank, can you help?).
> But I remember how its pitch-accent system is described in grammars.
> Roughly, it looks as if it once used to be the usual system with
> phonological stress (à la Russian or Bulgarian), but then each stress
> got moved one syllable to the left and became 'rising'; if there was no
> space to move to (i. e., the word was monosyllabic or originally accented
> on the first syllable), it didn't move but became 'falling'. These
> processes also involved proclitics.
> In the resulting system,
> a) the accent can be placed on any syllable except the last one;
> b) if the accent is on the first syllable, it can be either the 'falling'
> or the 'rising' one;
> c) monosyllabic words always have the 'falling' accent;
> d) if a word has a 'falling' accent on its first or sole syllable, the
> accent must move to a proclitic if there is one.
> Interestingly, it seems that this system allows for a more 'economical'
> 1) The accent, always realized as a rising tonal contour, requires two
> syllables for its realization (this view seems to have some phonetic
> grounds). Monosyllabic words are phonologically accentless.
> 2) Polysyllabic words also can be accentless. Absence of the accent is
> realized as a falling tonal contour on the word's first syllable.
> 3) The accent can fall onto any pair of neighboring syllables in a word.
> Thus reinterpreted, the SC system becomes almost identical (on the
> phonological level) with the Japanese one, the only difference being that
> SC accent requires a disyllabic 'platform'.
> However, there is a lot of dialectal variation concerning the accents
> in SC. In particular, some dialects don't observe the point (d) above.
> In such dialects, the 'falling' accent seems to acquire some phonological
> value (at any rate, it can work as a word delimiter). And there are local
> dialects with various other deviations (e. g. the 'leftward shift' can
> be restricted to certain types of environments).
> Note also that while describing the correspondences between SC and
> Russian/Bulgarian, I didn't intend to explain the actual history of
> accentuation in SC. The position of accent in all Slavic langs where it
> is phonological is determined by Proto-Slavic syllabic tones; SC could
> simply differ from Russian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, etc. in the way it
> treated Proto-Slavic sequences of tones.