Re: Stress placement systems
|From:||Rob Haden <magwich78@...>|
|Date:||Monday, September 25, 2006, 18:13|
On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:01:08 +0100, R A Brown <ray@...>
>> Quite right.
No problem. :)
>> In fact, I would argue that Ancient Greek lacked even
>> lexical pitch -- i.e. the pitch was phrasal in nature. My main piece of
>> evidence for this is the use of the grave accent. It indicates that,
>> where a high pitch would be pronounced in isolation, it is not
>> pronounced in the given phrase.
>The recessive accent on verbs, neuter nouns, exocentric compounds 7 one
>or two other categories can be defined phonologically. But on other
>groups, where the accent can be so defined, whether the word is
>proparoxytone, paroxytone, properisomenon or perispomenon must surely be
>a matter of lexis. It seems odd to me if _in these groups_ oxytones are
>then not lexical but phrasal; these words do have final stress in modern
Recessive accent on neuter nouns? That's news to me, to be honest. I
imagine, however, that this was inherited from PIE. IIRC, most neuter
nouns in the protolanguage also had recessive accent. Some did not,
however; e.g. *(H)yugóm "yoke" > Gk. _zugón_ "(ibid.)".
My point was not that the accentuation of oxytones *must* be phrasal in
origin. Quite to the contrary, PIE was full of oxytones. The point was
that, in Ancient Greek (and, I suspect, in the last stages of PIE itself),
pitch accent existed at the *phrasal* level, not the lexical. To an
extent, this is true of all languages, as words are rarely spoken in
isolation. Within any given phrase, some words are naturally more
prominent (more *marked*) than others. However, it seems to me that this
is particularly true for languages with pitch accent as opposed to stress
or tonal accent, because intonation is primarily a feature of pitch.
>> As a result, it's no surprise that the grave is
>> typically used for prepositions, pronouns, adjectives, and genitive
>> nouns. Basically, these kinds of words tended to be treated as clitics,
>> at least on the prosodic level. I think this echoes the situation of
>> latest PIE.
>Do we, in fact, know what a final grave means? I have heard/read it
>suggested that it indicated that the vowel was not raised as much as one
A grave seems to indicate a marked lowering of pitch. Cf. the graphical
form of the circumflex, which historically developed from acute plus
grave. Some ancient texts mark *all* unaccented syllables with graves,
and some even leave accented syllables *unmarked*. Normal convention,
however, came to use the grave to mark a syllable with "suppressed"
accent; i.e. it would be accented when pronounced in isolation, or in
substantive position, but not in attributive position (modifying a head
OTOH, there seems to be a strong tendency cross-linguistically to avoid
two equally-accented syllables. Generally, one will get "subsumed"
beneath the other.
>I think the case for prepositions is certainly strong (the enclitic
>pronouns are in any case enclitic - accents occur only on the
>non-enclitic forms). Presumably the graves on the definite article would
>be regarded in the same way - it makes sense, though the final
>circumflexes, where they occur on pronouns & the definite article cannot
>be considered this way.
>Certainly the situation is phrasal in that enclitics affect the pitch
>accentuation of the whole phrase - but should enclitics be considered as
Where word boundaries were indicated at all in written Ancient Greek,
clitics were written as separate words.
>The final grave business is certainly an interesting one. If only we had
>time travel ........ ;)
As for the rest of your post, you're preaching to the choir. :)