Primary stress placement in Pulaar requires weighting CVVC > CVV > CVC > CV, while secondary stress makes only a two-way distinction with CVVC, CVV, and CVC all outweighing CV (Niang 1997). Most typologies of quantity-sensitive stress disallow four levels of weight, and accounts such as Moren (2000), which allows for syllable moraicity to be determined relative to context, allows no mechanism for syllables to attract secondary stress if they fail to count as bimoraic for primary stress. Pulaar's system is used to support an Optimality Theory account formalizing structural measures of prominence for weight distinctions, following de Lacy (1997). This account replaces PEAKPROMINENCE with constraints evaluating prominence based on structure, both segmental and moraic, which allows for gradations distinguishing among bimoraic CVVC, CVV, and CVC syllables. Primary stress refers to structural prominence while secondary stress depends only on moraic quantity. This account of Pulaar fits into a restricted typology of quantity-sensitive metrical systems.
Selected Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives
edited by John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, and Dee A. Worman
Table of contents