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Re: Morae (was: Re: Lurkers, poetic forms), and more

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 3, 2000, 16:20
>Roger Mills <romilly@...> wrote: > >>penult is stressed unless it contains *e, in which case the ultima in >>stressed. Ml. BAsah 'wet', beSAR 'big' etc. >>The ancestor of Buginese et al. apparently developed fixed penult stress. >>Result: geminate consonants following schwa (or its modern reflex). > >This is extra-cool! I couldn't have figured that out for the life >of me... How common do you think this phenomenon is, when two >unrelated rules collide and a "solution" must be found? Does this >have a name?
There's a whole theory of linguistics, Optimality Theory, which tries to explain (or gloss over, depending on your point of view) various phenomena as resulting from the interaction of mutually contradictory grammatical requirements. Differences among languages are taken to result from different "solutions" to the problems caused by these interactions. Matt.