quantity triggered vs. quantity sensitive stress
|From:||Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 17, 1998, 0:32|
I was just wondering if there are natlangs that, instead of having
stress that is sensitive to the weight of certain syllables, have
stress that consistently creates heavy syllables. This appears to be
a feature of Lumanesian (my conlang) which I have recently
'discovered'. Fearing that this is a contrived feature as a result
of conlanging, I now consult the experts in CONLANG-L. I still would
like Lumanesian to appear natural. I'll illustrate what I've
Firstly, I know there are stress systems that function in a manner
such that heavy syllables nearest one end of a word recieve stress.
And if there are no heavy syllables, stress is then placed on a
certain syllable near one end of the word. This is what I mean by
quantity sensitive. The result is that stress can occur *almost*
anywhere in a word provided the right conditions are there to
For instance, according to "Phonology" by Francis Katamba Ngiyamba
stress rule dictates that stress falls on the first heavy syllable
of a word but by default places stress on the first syllable if
there are no heavy syllables. Heavy syllables in Ngiyamba are
syllables with long vowels. Thus, one could have stress almost
anywhere in a word depending where the long vowels are located.:
initial stress: girlambidi "big star"
antepenultimate stress: "gabadaabidi "big moon"
penultimate stress: gabadaaga "on moon"
or final stress: gabadaa "moon"
The situation is quite different in Lumanesian. It appears that
stress is what triggers a heavy syllable and not the other way
around. The reason for this is that, unlike quantity sensitive
stress languages, stress in Lumanesian lexemes is consistently
penultimate (with the exception of monosyllabic lexemes).
Furthermore, this stressed syllable is consistently a heavy CVC
syllable (whereas light syllables are CV only). Stressed CVC
syllables can appear in three forms depending on which of the three
tones are used. These are:
CV? - creaky tone, heavy syllable ending in a glottal stop or
CVH - level tone, heavy syllable ending in a glottal fricative or
a voiceless sonorant.
CVX - falling tone, heavy syllable with a long vowel or ending in
a voiced sonorant.
The result is that all words must have one of the three possible
stressed syllable forms. Furthermore, stressed heavy syllables vary
in the coda depending on the tone used. All in all, words without a
heavy syllable cannot exist. Does this appear natural?
I'm also not sure if this is a segmental feature alone or a
prosodic/suprasegmental feature that applies to whole words. Perhaps
it is both (if that's at all possible). In any case, I'm sort of
stumped when it comes to representing this orthographically. If word
stress is almost consistently penultimate and stressed syllables
consistently heavy, do I still have to represent the coda of
stressed syllables to mark them as heavy (and thereby also
stressed)? I was thinking that the type of the coda represented in
the orthography could be used to mark the tone of the word since
they are directly related. It just seems gluttonous to overrepresent
something that is already consistent when tone alone can easily be
represented by diacritics.